'Baseless' claim Muslims in Leicester wouldn't use hand sanitiser hidden by Facebook

Police in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.

A "baseless" claim that Muslims in locked-down Leicester did not adhere to the government's coronavirus advice has been partially hidden by Facebook.

The post – a screenshot – was put up on the site claiming members of the Islamic community didn't understand Downing Street messaging about Covid-19 and couldn't use alcohol-based sanitiser because of their religion.

Rachael Krishna, from fact checker charity FullFact, wrote that the first claim was unproven and the second is false.

Facebook has put the post behind a message which highlights that it contains false information, with FullFact describing the post as "baseless".

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Coronavirus hits Leicester hard
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Coronavirus hits Leicester hard
A police car drives through the centre of Leicester, where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to decide whether to make changes to Leicester's lockdown after examining the latest coronavirus data.
Members of the public test themselves for Covid-19 at a testing centre in Spinney Hill Park in Leicester, where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to decide whether to make changes to Leicester's lockdown after examining the latest coronavirus data.
Door to door Covid testing is carried out in Knighton, Leicester by Leicester City Council volunteers to help increase testing in the city of Leicester after areas of the city were placed into local lockdown.
Door to door Covid testing is carried out in Knighton, Leicester by Leicester City Council volunteers to help increase testing in the city of Leicester after areas of the city were placed into local lockdown.
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past artwork in Leicester where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area.
A worker for Leicester City Council carries a bag of clinical waste away from a Covid-19 testing station at Spinney Hill Park in Leicester where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area.
Social distancing signs in Leicester, which remains in local lockdown, despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions being eased across the rest of England.
A taped off outdoor play area in Leicester, which remains in local lockdown, despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions being eased across the rest of England.
Members of the public in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
A general view of a closed McDonald's in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
Members of the public in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
Police in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
Passengers walk through a very quiet train station in Leicester during lockdown. There were concerns that people from Leicester may try to travel to different parts of the country as lockdown restrictions are lifted while Leicester remains in lockdown
Police officers patrol a very quiet train station in Leicester during lockdown. There were concerns that people from Leicester may try to travel to different parts of the country as lockdown restrictions are lifted while Leicester remains in lockdown
A newly installed hand washing station at Leicester Square, as London prepare to reopen to the public when the lifting of further lockdown restrictions in England comes into effect on Saturday. Picture date: Friday July 3, 2020.
A newly installed hand sanitiser station outside Leicester Square, as London prepare to reopen to the public when the lifting of further lockdown restrictions in England comes into effect on Saturday. Picture date: Friday July 3, 2020.
Police activity in Leicester during Local Lockdown. Police carry out stop checks in Leicester as part of the National Police Chiefs Council for law enforcement, checking driving insurance, seatbelts, driving without a license and also offering advice about travelling in and out of the city during lockdown
Landlady Carole Burton at The Three Crowns in Barrow upon Soar, in northern Leicestershire, one of several pubs outside the lockdown zone that have decided to stay closed this weekend after the introduction of a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in Leicester.
Police conduct spot checks on passengers at Leicester Railway Station in Leicester, after the introduction of a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in Leicester.
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Leicester was put under lockdown to get its outbreak under control, the first time a local area was put back into restrictions designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The Department of Health told Leicester Live: "Observational data and the epidemiology suggest that transmission within households, lower compliance with social distancing in the community, and workplace transmission may all be contributing to the current situation."

The Facebook post contains a screen grab, in which someone has written that Muslims in Leicester didn't understand government messaging because it wasn't translated to what the person calls "their language".

It was shared more than 400 times, and goes on to make the claim about alcohol-based sanitisers. It is hidden by Facebook, with a message that FullFact has debunked the sanitiser claim, but can still be viewed.

Facebook displays this message with the "baseless" screenshot but the post can still be seen. (Facebook)

FullFact said the claim about language appears to have come off the back of a newspaper article.

The charity said the piece reported sources claiming a lack of translation of coronavirus messaging contributed to the Leicester outbreak, but did not specify any religions.

The specific claim that Muslims had not understood the guidance was not proven, FullFact said, and the assertion that Muslims wont use alcohol-based hand sanitiser is false.

The Muslim Council of Britain told FullFact: "The issue of alcohol in Islam relates to the drinking of alcohol, and not its use in other ways, such as the disinfection of skin.

"Many Muslims believe it is permissible to use alcohol-based sanitisers for alleviating illness or improving health, particularly as this is a necessity in the current climate."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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