A video of a group of boys licking utensils is going viral with the claim that it shows them trying to spread coronavirus.
The message with the video reads: “14 China Muslims hidden at Bihari mosque has been taken to corona virus test by Bihari police. Erode police has caught Thailand Muslim mullahs infected with corona virus. Today Salem Police has caught 11 Indonesian Muslim mullahs at Salem mosque. This video shows that they are applying and putting saliva on spoons, plates and utensils and also they are in the intention of spreading corona virus disease. Nobody knows what's happening in the Nation (sic).”
14 China Muslims hidden at Bihari mosque has been taken to corona virus test by Bihari police. Erode...Posted by CB Huliyar on Sunday, March 29, 2020
An archived version of the post can be seen here.
The message claims that many Muslims have been infected across the country and that many have been caught by police in one place as well. It adds that these Muslims can be seen applying their saliva on utensils, which as is known by now, would be a way of spreading the coronavirus.
Many people on Facebook shared the same video.
The video was also shared with the same claim on Twitter.
The video was also shared on YouTube with a similar claim.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim with the video is false and the video is actually of an old incident unrelated to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
WHAT WE FOUND
On searching Google with the keywords ‘Muslims licking plates’, we came across the same video on Vimeo, uploaded on 31 July 2018 by a user called Asghar Vasanwala. According to the description of the video, the people seen in the video are Dawoodi Bohras, who are licking the utensils in an attempt to follow their belief of zero wastage of food.
From here, it is clear that the video was uploaded much before the coronavirus outbreak and cannot have anything to do with the spreading of the virus.
Taking off from here, we ran a search for Dawoodi Bohras – a sect of Shiite Muslims – found that the headgear of the men in the video exactly matched that of the community. According to their website, detailing their culture and traditions, Dawoodi Bohras wear a stiff, hand-crocheted topi that can be white with a border of gold or entirely of gold thread.
Furthermore, the website of the Dawoodi Bohras states that they follow a tradition of eating meals on a steel ‘thaal’, which is designed to accommodate a group of 8 or 9 people. They also strictly follow a policy of no wastage of food - “Bohras have a no-wastage policy so not a single morsel should be left on the thaal when it is taken away”.
An article on their website further explains this policy with regard to a specific event, wherein it says that utensils were examined for leftovers of food and the morsels consumed.
A user on Twitter also replied to the same video saying that the video showed Bohras practising zero wastage of food.
Bohras eat together in a big “thaal”. This one is from a jamatkhana where on several occasions there is food served. What’s happening here is taking not wasting food at an extreme level. https://t.co/irxJePHlZ3— Yusuf Unjhawala (@YusufDFI) July 30, 2018
Therefore, it is clear that the viral video simply captures a tradition of Dawoodi Bohras and does not have anything to do with spreading coronavirus and infecting others. The message being shared is fake.
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