A video showed a man, dressed in white, was performing a ceremony known as "Stoning of the Devil" during Hajj in Mecca. This widely circulated video gathered thousands of likes, comments and shares after people started to address the man as the former Pope Benedict XVI, who has converted to Islam according to the social media users.
Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, which is the holiest city for Muslims. This year the pilgrimage started on August 19 and a few days later a video was continuously shared on social media platform, especially on Facebook since August 26.
One of the Facebook users, Hajj Muntala Morla Ouro, who is from Saudi Arabia shared the video with a caption, "A former pop escorted by Saudi security forces to perform Hajj. A resigned catholic pop Benedict XVI is spotted in Saudi Arabia, performing Hajj. Its alleged that he resigned immediately after discovering that Islam is the true religion of God."
That particular video received more than 1000 likes and almost 1000 comments. As of now, it has been shared 41000 times on the social media platform. But, it has triggered a huge debate on Facebook due to the claims.
Another user, Abdul Jaleel Oyelere also shared the same video and his post says, "lhamdulillah former Vatican Benedict (Pope) embraced Islam. He was invited by the Saudi government to perform Hajj 2018. Open Source. (Link)"
On August 28, the France 24 Observers team received several messages about the video on social media and finally, they found that it is fake, as the person seen in the video is not the former Pope Benedict.
First of all, if anyone looks at the video very closely, then he or she will get to know that the man doesn't even look like former Pope Benedict XVI. It is very easy to notice the format of the video that is used in Instagram and a credit on it that reads, "Instgram al _ saud _".
After searching the Instagram account "al _ saud _", the same video was found. The bio of the account states that it is a 'fan page of Alsaud royal family', which is the royal family of Saudi Arabia.
A further search revealed that on the same day there are several photos uploaded, where the man, wearing white garments can be seen. Those posts were written in Arabic but after the translation, the results showed that the man was 78-year-old Prince Khalid Al Faisal, the current Governor of Makkah Province.
Some social media users, who came across the fake video also stated that this man is none other than Prince Khalid Al Faisal.