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Debunked: The Irish Muslim Council has not put up stickers advocating for ‘Sharia Law’

The hoax was seen more than 100,000 times on Twitter/X.

STICKERS THAT PURPORT to have been created by the Irish Muslim Council to advocate for establishing “Sharia Law” in Ireland are a hoax.

The Muslim Council of Ireland, also known as the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council, has condemned the stickers as a “campaign inciting hatred” and said that they have “never advocated for Sharia Law in Ireland”.

Sharia is a traditional body of law based on Islamic teachings. In modern usage, the term often refers to laws that require strict dress codes for women, such as the use of hijabs; prohibitions against blasphemy or apostasy; and extreme punishments such as amputations or death sentences.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the countries that describe their laws as being based on Sharia.

“Help bring Sharia Law into Lawless Ireland”, the stickers say above a URL for the Irish Muslim Council.

Sharia Pictures of the hoax sticker were shared online

The sticker also features Arabic words meaning “Sharia, Ireland”, as well as a symbol of a shamrock incorporating a star and crescent.

Photos of the sticker on a lamppost were shared by Irish accounts on Facebook and Instagram, including by Ben Gilroy, who ran as a candidate for EU elections in 2019 and has previously spread misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.

An image of the sticker was also shared more than a dozen times on, formerly Twitter, and appears to have been viewed more than 100,000 times. 

This includes a post viewed tens of thousands of times by the verified account of Britain First, a political party that is regularly described as a far-right, fascist, extremist group in the British media.

The group, whose chair has previously been factchecked by The Journal for spreading false claims about Ireland, has run candidates in local, national, and EU elections in the United Kingdom to no success.

The sticker featured in these posts is a hoax.

A statement released by the Irish Muslim Council said that the sticker falsely implies that IMPIC [Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council] advocates for Sharia Law in Ireland.

“We strongly condemn this propaganda and wish to clarify that the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council has never advocated for Sharia Law in Ireland,” the statement read. “In fact, we advocate for upholding the Irish constitution and believe it to be our religious and moral duty as citizens of Ireland.”

Gilroy responded to the Irish Muslim Council on Twitter, saying: “My bad I apologize for any harm caused. Pictures look so real you can literally make anything appear real.”

However, his post featuring the sticker is still available without any indication that it is false on Facebook.

IMPIC’s statement about the sticker continued:

“Our actual logo was not printed on it and even the Arabic text purportedly advocating for ‘Sharia Ireland’ was clearly produced by a non-Muslim and non-Arabic speaking individual, as it contained spelling errors and inaccuracies.

“We will be reporting this matter to the Gardaí and believe that those behind this systematic campaign of inciting hatred against Muslims should be brought to justice.”

Proof of hoax

The Irish Muslim Council’s statement also made reference to an “ongoing campaign” of misinformation about Islam and Muslims in Ireland. 

There is evidence to back up claims that the sticker is part of a hoax campaign.

For example, the logo that appears on the sticker does not appear on the Irish Muslim Council’s website. Instead, it appears to be the creation of a Reddit user who posted it in 2020 saying he “wanted to create a flag for Muslims in Ireland”, and that two of his best friends were Muslim.

Since then, that same flag has also appeared on social media posts that appear to be hoaxes.

“God willing we can change the flag and introduce Sharia in Ireland!” one Twitter post by a user called Zubi Mohammed reads, along with the Shamrock-Crescent symbol.

The account regularly posts inflammatory rhetoric condemning “Cultural Marxism”, LGBTQ+ people, women’s rights and TV personalities.

However, there are indications that Zubi Mohammed is a troll account.

“It’s all a joke guys. He’s on a wind up. He says the maddest of shit to get a stir,” one commenter said of the account.

One reason to doubt the account’s sincerity is that the account’s original handle is @JamesSm71873754, indicating that he signed up using an email address that begins “James Sm…”.

When this was put to him, the account replied, “That’s because I’m a Muslim revert [sic] from Ireland.”

The account’s profile picture, showing a man with a long beard is, in fact, a screenshot from a 14-year-old video of a Greek convert to Islam.

Despite these many signs of inauthentic behaviour, a screenshot of the Zubi Mohammed post has since been shared on social media platforms with claims that this is evidence Muslims are plotting to change the flag and establish Sharia Law in Ireland. 

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