On Feb 28, 2023, a Facebook post emerged sharing an image with a claim that the person shown in the picture was attacked and paralyzed by Wahabis in Ethiopia. The post said that Wahabis are attacking and killing Sufis and Muslims who follow other Islamic sects.
HaqCheck looked into the image to investigate if the picture confirms the claim. However, the image was old and doesn’t show a Sufi Muslim attacked by Wahabis in Ethiopia.
Thus, the post was rated False.
Wahhabi is an adherent of the Islamic reform movement (Wahhabism) founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the 18th century in Najd, Saudi Arabia.
Wahhabism was adopted in 1744 by the Al Saud family that founded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Al Wahhabism prevailed in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The term Wahhabi is used primarily by outsiders to distinguish the movement and adherents often call themselves Salafis.
In Ethiopia, Salafism is considered refusing pilgrimages to local shrines, and a celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.
Salafism first arrived in Ethiopia during the Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941.
In 2012 and 2013, there were intense protests in Addis Ababa caused by allegations that the Ethiopian government was trying to impose the al-Ahbash (Sufi) sect neglecting the Wahhabi movement.
In this context, a Facebook post appeared on Feb 28, 2023, sharing an image claiming that a Sufi follower was attacked by Wahhabis in Ethiopia.
However, the image was taken from an old publication and has no connection with the claim. The image was first published on a website called Ketto, an online fundraising platform to support health treatment.
The post containing the picture was published a year ago, and it shows a 22 years old adult who had an accident.
The website, Ketto shared the image to raise funds to help cover the person’s medical expenses because his family couldn’t afford it. Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post False due to its usage of an inaccurate image.