A photo of Ibrahim Hindy of the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre was the main image of multiple hoax articles about an imam who refused to shelter non-Muslims displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
A Mississauga imam who had his image used in a fake news article about mosques refusing to shelter victims of Hurricane Harvey says he’s never even been to Texas.
A photo of Ibrahim Hindy of the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre was the main image of multiple hoax articles about an imam who refused to shelter non-Muslims displaced by Hurricane Harvey in their mosques.
The article was shared by thousands on social media, with many expressing outrage at an event that did not happen. The Last Line of Defense, a conservative website where the post originated, says on its website that “everything on this site is a satirical work of fiction.”
The image of Hindy that was used shows the logo for Global, a Canadian television network, in the bottom right corner.
Hindy, who is in Saudi Arabia for the hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, responded to the Star by email on Sunday, saying he has received threats since the article was posted and fears for the safety of his family.
“… Such news could bring hate and some people might only read the title and don’t search anything to make sure,” he said.
Hindy told CityNews that the name of the mosque in the fake story “doesn’t make sense in any language” and he is concerned that fake stories can incite violence.
Hindy addressed the fake story on social media, clarifying that he is not in Houston, but is praying for victims of the hurricane that has caused catastrophic damage in and around the city.
He also encouraged people to donate to Islamic Relief USA, a charity that is raising funds to help those affected by the hurricane.
“I pray that Allah brings aid and comfort to all the victims, whether Muslim or not,” Hindy wrote on Facebook.
In April, Hindy received death threats for supporting Muslim prayer in schools within the Peel District School Board.
The Last Line of Defense website didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Similar false articles also used an image of Ammar Shahin, a imam based in Davis, Calif. Shahin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Houston area is home to over 250,000 Muslims, and many mosques and charitable organizations have been providing relief and shelter to those affected by the hurricane.