Thursday Jun 16, 2022
A screenshot circulating across multiple social media platforms in South Asia appears to show a tweet from England cricketer Moeen Ali saying he would not play another match in India unless the country apologised for a ruling party official’s controversial remarks about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). However, the claim is false; the account from which the tweet was shared has been suspended, and the England cricket board told AFP the account was fake.
The screenshot was shared in a Facebook post here on June 8, 2022.
It appears to show a tweet from "Moeen Munir Ali" that reads: "If India does not apologise for its blasphemous statement, I will never go to India to play a match again. I will also boycott the IPL."
"And I will appeal to my fellow Muslim brothers to do the same. I love Muhammad (PBUH)."
Moeen Ali is a professional cricketer who plays for England.
He also plays for the Chennai Super Kings in India’s domestic cricket tournament, the IPL.
The post circulated as Muslims took to the streets in huge protests around Asia, sparked by firebrand politician Nupur Sharma's comments during a televised debate about the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) relationship with his youngest wife.
Sharma -- who was a regular fixture on Indian television, where she acted as a mouthpiece for the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- was suspended by her party for the remarks.
The screenshot of the misleading tweet was shared on Facebook in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
However, the claim is false.
The tweet was posted from the Twitter account @Moeen_Ali18, which has been suspended.
An archive of the suspended account, retrieved from the Wayback Machine, shows its bio says "not official".
Jonathan Reed, the head of media and publications at the England and Wales Cricket Board, told AFP the account did not belong to the cricketer.
"This was a fake account. Moeen does not have any social media accounts," he said.
Ali’s official profile on the England Cricket Board website links to his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, but all three accounts are inactive.
As of June 16, there have been no reports of Ali threatening to boycott matches in India over comments made against the Prophet Mohammed.