Debunked: Photo of ‘Muslims in Switzerland’ taken in… Pakistan

La photo de 2006 manipulée par un internaute.
La photo de 2006 manipulée par un internaute.


“Muslims in Switzerland are demanding that the cross be taken off the flag because it offends them”, reads the description under this photo published on Facebook on January 2. But in just one post, this Internet user – whose page, “SOS Anti-white Racism”, is full of racist and xenophobic comments – mislabeled the photo and misled many Internet users.

In reality, this photo was taken in Pakistan, not Switzerland. And the flag in flames is not the Swiss flag but the Danish flag, which also features a white cross-shaped pattern on a red background. The cross on the Danish flag is off-centre and its lines extend to the ends of the material, unlike the Swiss flag which feature a small cross in the centre.

This photo was taken ten years ago, in 2006, when riots hits many Muslim countries following the publication of cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. The protestors in this photo are angry about the cartoon, not the cross on the flag.

A Twitter user posted “Sorry, SOS Anti-white Racism, but that’s the Danish flag!”

When questioned by dubious Twitter users about the veracity of this photo, the page owner posted the “original photo” supposedly first published by @wmsolomon, a Twitter account that has since been suspended. However, using Google, you can still find photos linked to this account and it appears @wmsolomon has a proclivity for posting fake images supposed to illustrate the jihadist threat.

This photo actually belongs to the news agency Getty Images. The photographer, Rizwan Tabassum, took the picture February 23, 2006 in Karachi, which is a long way from Switzerland…