Billionaire Asif Aziz has not publicly pledged his wealth to an Indian mosque

Articles that are repeatedly shared on the Internet falsely claim that they are London billionaires Asif Aziz He donated $500 million to build a mosque near a Hindu temple in India, reportedly telling Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that he would “give away” his fortune to the project. However, the foundation that worked on the construction of the mosque said it would still not accept foreign donations from April 1, while Aziz’s spokesman separately denied the claims. AFP could not find anything that was reported on the newspaper’s website.

The claim was he shared on Facebook on March 2. The post said Aziz had “attracted international attention” by donating 5,000 crore taka — about $500 million — to build a mosque near the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

An Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi he opened it controversial Hindu temple in January, which was built on the site of the former Babri mosque. The mosque was demolished in 1992 by Hindu extremists inspired by members of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The demolition sparked riots that killed 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, and shook the foundations of Indian politics.

Following a long-running dispute over the construction of a Ram temple on the site of the Babri mosque, the Supreme Court of India. known The construction site for a new mosque located 25 kilometers from the city.

The post included a video in which Aziz, a London-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, reportedly announced the donation in an interview with The Telegraph.

A reporter said in the video: “In an interview with the UK daily newspaper The Telegraph, he said: ‘You don’t just need money to build a mosque, you need courage. I am ready to give all my wealth to keep this tradition alive. The legacy of Babri is close. and Ram Temple'”.

The video did not show any image of the Telegraph article or provide a link to it.

<img class="caas-img caas-lazy has-preview" alt="Fake photo, taken on April 2, 2024” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/ 6a”/>

Fake photo, taken on April 2, 2024

Articles that say the same thing have been shared elsewhere Facebook and on YouTube.

‘No involvement’

However, a representative of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation, which built the mosque, told AFP on April 1 that it does not have permission to accept foreign donations.

“There is a thorough review of the account before foreign donations are accepted,” said Athar Hussain, the foundation’s secretary.

A spokesman for Aziz separately told AFP that he was not involved in planning or funding the mosque.

“We want to make it clear that these social media claims are false and inaccurate,” said a representative of Flamepr Public Relations. “Mr. Asif Aziz has never donated or announced the 5,000 crore taka for the construction of a mosque in Ayodhya, nor has he been involved in planning or funding in any way.”

A keyword search on The Telegraph website turned up only one article about Aziz and the mosque.

The story — titled “Mosque may be built in London’s Trocadero” — was published on July 16, 2023. It reported on Aziz’s plans to build a mosque inside the Trocadero entertainment complex in London’s West End.The link is saved).

The article does not mention the construction of a mosque near the Ram temple.

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