“This is not Saudi Arabia…” a Facebook user captioned one photo of a large gathering of prayerful Muslims. “This is ‘Sweet Home’ Birmingham, Alabama..! Nervous yet?”
Uploading the image to Google’s search engine, TWS Fact Check found the image in a Daily Mail article titled “Eid Mubarak! Over 70,000 Muslims gather in Birmingham for Europe’s largest celebration of festival to mark the end of Ramadan as millions join in around the world.” That would be the Birmingham across the pond (i.e. England, land of futball), not Alabama (land of football).
But the errors don’t stop there. The image is actually from Albania, as the Getty Images caption clarifies: “Albanian Muslims take part in Eid al-Fitr prayer at Tiranas main boulevard on July 17, 2015.”
The street where the image was taken is called Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard, and even has its own Wikipedia page.
Some Alabamians doubted the photo’s caption, pointing to the sheer width of the street. “This is not in Birmingham. There is no street wide enough to fit that many in.” “I work in Birmingham AL every day and have for years. I’m very familiar with the city. I’m not at all familiar with this location.”
Despite these and other commenter’s best efforts to clarify that the image was not from Alabama, the incorrect caption was shared over 56,000 times.
If you have questions about this fact check, or would like to submit a request for another fact check, email Holmes Lybrand at [email protected] or the Weekly Standard at [email protected] For details on TWS Fact Check, see our explainer here.