Fact Check: Fire Did NOT Destroy A Palace In Sweden After Quran Burning At A Local Mosque

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Fire Did NOT Destroy A Palace In Sweden After Quran Burning At A Local Mosque Not Sweden

Did a massive fire engulf one of the royal palaces in Sweden after an Iraqi-born refugee in Stockholm burned the Muslim holy book, the Quran, outside a local mosque on June 28, 2023? No, that's not true. A verification by Lead Stories determined that the claim lacks evidence and that the video used to support the claim is outdated and filmed in a different country. It was copied from a video that displayed a huge fire, which destroyed the 100-year-old Central Post Office in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, on May 21, 2023.

A geolocation search in the area showed the torched building and its surroundings, including government offices in adjacent streets.

The claim originated from a video (archived here) that was posted on TikTok on July 2, 2023, under the title "The Noble Quran avenges: The presidential palace in Sweden was burned down."

In the video, a sprawling limestone structure, embellished with colossal columns and consisting of at least three floors. It was engulfed in flames, accompanied by towering plumes of dense black smoke, against a backdrop of frantic screams, primarily from a woman. Additionally, two emojis portraying a girl wearing a crown are present, symbolizing prayer and gratitude as she held her hands together.

A caption in Arabic and translated into English by Lead Stories staff, across the 20-second video proclaimed:

So that you'd know the reponse, if you tear and burn the Quran.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Building Ablze.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 11:13:24 2023 UTC)

According to The Statesman, on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, a man named Salman Momika ignited pages of Islam's religious text outside a central mosque in Stockholm. Following this incident, various false claims started to emerge. The action coincided with the first day of the sacred Eid Al-Adha, Arabic for the Feast of Sacrifice. The act sparked widespread protests and condemnation in the Swedish capital, while also provoking anger among Muslims worldwide.

The BBC reported that Momika was charged by Swedish police with "agitation against an ethnic or national group." According to the report, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian held the Swedish government responsible for granting Momika the protest permit.

The May 21 fire in Manila garnered significant attention from international news organizations, with CNN reporting that investigations were initiated to ascertain its cause.

However, in early June 2023, PhilStar published a report stating that the fire which ravaged the Manila Central Post Office building was caused by an explosion of a car battery stored in the basement along with office supplies, thinners, paints, and cans. The Bureau of Fire Protection, as cited by the Inquirer, ruled out arson and labeled the incident as "purely accidental."

  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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