A video has been shared repeatedly on Facebook and YouTube alongside a claim it shows the first Hindu temple in Muslim-majority Saudi Arabia. But the clip has been shared in a misleading context; it actually shows an animation of a Hindu temple in the United Arab Emirates that was still under construction as of May 10, 2022.
The 27-second clip was shared here on Facebook on March 29, 2022.
The post’s Bengali-language caption translates to English as: “The first Hindu temple in Saudi Arabia, Hail Shri Ram”.
Screenshot of the misleading post, captured on April 24, 2022 ( AFP)
The video contains Bengali-language text that translates as: “Saudi Arabia's first Hindu temple”. It also includes the text "Abu Dhabi” -- the capital of Muslim-majority UAE -- in brackets.
Bengali is the official language of Muslim-majority Bangladesh, and is spoken widely in neighbouring Indian states.
Temple in Abu Dhabi
The clip has been shared in a misleading context.
The original video shows a digital rendition of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.
The 30-minute, five-second video was posted on BAPS' verified YouTube channel on April 23, 2019.
The caption reads: “BAPS Hindu Mandir Foundation Stone-Laying Ceremony, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 20 April 2019”.
The clip seen in the misleading posts starts from the original video's 17-minute, 51-second mark.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the clip in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R):
A spokesperson from the BAPS temple authority told AFP: “This video is the architecture rendition of the BAPS Hindu Mandir (temple) in Abu Dhabi. It is the first traditional stone-made Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.”
Gulf News published a photographic report on the progress of the temple's construction on November 20, 2020.
The construction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024, according to the spokesperson.