False Claim: Muslim Woman Masquerades as Hindu at Protest Over Mob Lynching
The lady holding the placard is not Sabiha Khan, but Swati, a student based in Delhi.
अल तकिया से सावधान..ये तो सबीहा खान निकली, और खुद को हिन्दू लिखकर तब प्रोपेगेंडा रचा था, इस लडकी ने (She turned out to be Sabiha Khan, and was conducting propaganda by calling herself Hindu- translation).
The above message has been shared on social media platforms along with a set of photographs. In one of the photos, a young woman can be seen holding a placard that says, “I am a Hindu and I love Muslims. Muslims are my brothers, sisters and spouses. You killed our Tabrez, we all are Tabrez, your hate is too small in front of us all #NotoHindutvaterrorism”. Another image shows a woman dressed in pink, with an infographic that wishes Eid, with the name Sabiha Khan written on it. A protest was held in the national capital in June over the lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand.
The above post is from the Facebook group I Support Yogi, and has been shared over 2100 times so far. It has also been posted on the page NAMO Youth Brigade and India Fans. Moreover, several individual users have posted it on their timelines. For some of these instances, the share count is significant.
The lady in question is not Sabiha Khan, as claimed. Alt News contacted her to confirm her identity and managed to access her driving license. Her name is Swati and she is a Delhi-based college student. Alt News is withholding her full name at her request. She gave us a detailed statement which is posted below.
Yes I stood up for Tabrez and many like him whether they were Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians or anyone else. I and many like me stand for humanity for which this country is known for. I spoke against hate and I feel only Love can conquer it.
That night when we protested against the mob lynching of Tabrez, I went like any other dissappointed citizen tired of explaining both my Hindu and Muslim friends that these crimes are there to divide us and the day we stop getting divided at any cost, the crimes will stop. I have been standing against all the atrocities that happen in our country in the name of religion or caste like that of Pehlu Khan, Akhlaq, Ankit Saxena, Najeeb, Dr. Payal Tadvi, etc. I have been part of many protests.
I feel that I carry a responsibility as an Indian and also a part of Hindu family to defend my own Hindu community that we do not wish to harm any life. I wish to give this message to our Muslim community that THEY ARE US.
Many people online did what-aboutery in this case but I wish they understood that people like me are not selective, its the politicians who sometimes are selective because they desire votes, not people like us. I feel bad as well because some of my own college mates harrassed me online for propagating our constitutional duty as citizens of India.
A-51A of the Indian Constitution says that it is our Fundamental duty to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals, to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.
I just did my fundamental duty as a law abiding citizen of India and I hope our parliamentarians and their supporters understand that respecting and abiding by the constitution is the biggest national duty one can do as a civilian. I hope we all stay strong and together no matter what happens. This country stands on love and it will stand tall forever.
India has a VIBGYOR colour, no colour can dominate the other. We are a country with colourful problems and colourful solutions. Therefore, I reject to be the colourblind citizen of India.
– Your fellow citizen of India.
WHO IS SABIHA KHAN?
Two other photographs which show a woman clad in pink have been circulated with the claim that she is the same lady seen in the picture of the woman holding the placard. Alt News found that this woman is indeed Sabiha Khan. She is a leader of the Hyderabad based political party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Sabiha Khan has a dedicated Facebook pagewith a significant following of over 180,000.
Moreover, the facial features of the two women are markedly different.
In all probability, the confusion surrounding the identity of the lady with the placard was caused by a post by Sabiha Khan on her official page, in which Swati’s photo with the placard was posted.
Alt News found that photographs of a poet have also been shared with this false claim.
Alt News contacted Huma Shehnaz who confirmed that two of the photos posted along with this claim are hers.
It may be reiterated that this is a false claim- the lady holding the placard is not Sabiha Khan, but Swati, a student based in Delhi.
This article was first published atAlt News.