Local EDL group criticised for sharing fake Muslim scholar quote
A local branch of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) group has been criticised by online activists after attributing a fake quote to a Muslim scholar.
The Yorkshire EDL Leeds Division shared an image of Dr Zakir Naik, a scholar and preacher based in India known for television appearances notably on Peace TV.
The quote in the image quoted him as saying: “I call for an immediate ban on the movie ‘Gravity’ as it shows ‘Earth’ to be spherical, which is against the Quran, & thus insulting to muslims.”
But online activists said that the quote was never said, and was shared to whip up hate and target the Muslim community.
EDLReview, a blog that claims to ‘expose’ the EDL, reported: “The quote was never said by Zakir Naik. The quote was actually said on a fake Twitter account set up in his name and then this was regurgitated on far-right anti-Muslim sites and pages.”
Yaasir Khan from Leeds said: “There’s a lot of stupid false stories and images shared by groups like the EDL nowadays and it’s no surprise.
“A friend of mine went on some pages and when he tried correcting them saying they were spreading false information he got banned from commenting.”
According to EDLReview, the same image was shared by Britain First, a far-right political movement, to over 600,000 of its supporters on 11 February.