Muslims Attack Christmas Tree in Mall-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A viral video shows offended Muslims attacking a Christmas tree at a mall in Sweden.
This video doesn’t show Muslims attacking a Christmas tree in Sweden — it shows Christians in Egypt engaging in an annual “tree plundering” celebration.
The rumor started in mid-November 2016 when a video of a tree plundering celebration was misidentified as offended Muslims attacking a mall Christmas tree in a “western nation” on fringe and fake news websites:
Ahh, the religion of peace and tolerance. Whenever Muslims move to Western nations they try to change everything about the culture to conform to sharia law. When they’re not doing that, they’re tearing down Christmas trees, because, Jesus, birth of the Son of God and all that. To them, Jesus is only a prophet, to Christians, He is God’s only son born of a woman.
The video was quickly aggregated by other fringe websites that have been linked to fake news reports, and the mislabeled video of the mall Christmas tree was viewed hundreds of thousands of times by people who believed it actually showed “offended Muslims” attacking a mall Christmas tree in Sweden or a “western nation.”
In reality, the video was originally posted by in January 2016 and it shows the inside of the Mall of Arabia Cairo in Egypt engaging in a local Christian tradition called “tree plundering” that dates back to the 1800s. Also known as looting the Christmas tree, the ceremony is traditionally held on January 13th each year, and it marks the end of the Christmas season. Ornaments are stripped from the tree, and edible decorates like candy and fruits are eaten — which appears to be what the video in question shows.
The video clearly shows women and children taking ornaments from the tree while people wearing Santa hats and whistling look on. The video clearly doesn’t show angry Muslim men attacking the Christmas tree out of anger, as has been claimed.