Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Grand Mufti Of UAE Honoring Fallen Israeli Soldiers

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Grand Mufti Of UAE Honoring Fallen Israeli Soldiers Old Video

Does a video show the grand mufti of the United Arab Emirates reciting Quranic verses dedicated to the souls of Israeli soldiers whom he describes as martyrs? No, that's not true: The video, from May 2022, shows the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif, not the grand mufti of UAE, reciting from the Quran to honor fallen Druze and Muslim Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published on TikTok by @user2stiokugxo on November 4, 2023, with a caption (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) that read:

The Grand Mufti of UAE recites Fatiha verses from the Quran dedicated to the fallen Israeli soldiers and describes them as martyrs.

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

Screenshot 2023-11-13 at 08.36.09.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Nov 13 07:35:52 2023 UTC)

The claim circulated across multiple platforms, including here, here, and here. It follows the Hamas attack from Gaza into Israel on October 7, 2023.

Lead Stories conducted a reverse Google image search (archived here) that revealed the photo used in a tweet (archived here) posted by Israeli journalist Emily Schrader on May 4, 2022. It was accompanied by a caption that read:

Israel honors the memory of Druze and Muslim fallen IDF soldiers 🇮🇱

Sheikh Tarif reads the opening (Al Fatiha) from the Quran in their memory:

Screenshot 2023-11-13 at 09.34.25.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Nov 13 08:34:25 2023 UTC)

The video shows that the person reciting the Quranic verses for the souls of the fallen IDF soldiers is Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif, the current spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, not the Grand Mufti of Dubai, UAE Dr. Ahmed al Haddad.

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  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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