Did an Imam recite the Quran at the funeral of Shimon Peres?

Published October 3rd, 2016 - 12:36 GMT
Rumours of quran recitations after his death were greatly exagerrated (AFP/File)
Rumours of quran recitations after his death were greatly exagerrated (AFP/File)

A photograph of an imam reciting Quran is not, generally, a newsworthy image. But when the imam is surrounded by Israeli flags, it’s worthy of slightly more interest. And if he’s making a sermon at the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, it’s a snap that’s seriously worth circulating. In the case of a recent viral image, however, only two of those things were true.

A photograph of an Imam leading prayers ahead of Israel’s blue and white flags was widely circulated on social media, with the story that it was taken at the funeral of Peres.

Quran in Peres funeral!
If he was brought back to life again he will be shocked!
He was right when he described them to be “Jews” wearing palestinian head scarf (Kuffeyah)

But the internet had embellished the tale. The snap was in fact an older picture of an imam performing the call to prayer in a special Iftar ceremony held by the Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, last Ramadan. The ceremony included Palestinian leaders from communities inside present day Israel, and ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt, in addition to Turkish charge d’affairs.

The original picture was posted on the Facebook page of Ofir Gendelman, the Arabic-language spokesperson for the Israeli government.

And while it wasn’t true that Muslim rites were performed at Peres’ Jewish ceremony, the statesman’s funeral was full of attendees from the Arab world. The included, perhaps most notably, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, and representatives from both Jordan and Egypt.

Bethan Staton


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