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The demand: Vladimir Putin gave an anti-Muslim speech in 2013
Recently, a 2013 Facebook post about Russian President Vladimir Putin had an increase in popularity.
The post claims that it contains the text of a speech that Putin gave to the Russian parliament on August 4, 2013. The alleged speech is about Muslims and their place in Russia.
The post also claims that Putin received a “five-minute standing ovation” after completing the speech.
The author of the post did not respond to a request from US TODAY for comment.
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The fake speech has been circulating on the internet since 2013
It looks like the speech was produced. There is no report that Putin has yet made such remarks about minorities or Muslims.
The fake speech has spread on the internet in various forms since 2013. It was earlier unraveled by Snopes and PolitiFact.
Some versions contain different dates, another indication that the information is false.
In 2014, for example, an email address claims that the speech was held on February 4, 2013, rather than on August 4, 2013.
Both dates are inaccurate – an official website with transcripts of all comments by Putin contains no speeches on any date.
The most similar remarks Putin made about the speech were made at a January 2012 meeting of the Federal Migration Service Council.
He spoke, among other things, about the issue of “adapting gas workers”, according to an official transcript.
“We need to create the conditions that immigrants can normally integrate into our society, learn Russian and, of course, respect our culture and traditions and comply with Russian law,” Putin said. “In this regard, I believe that the decision to make learning the Russian language compulsory and to take examinations is well-founded.”
“It should be mandatory for all guest workers regardless of their future service,” he added.
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Islam is the second largest religion in Russia
Islam is the second largest religion in Russia after Orthodox Christianity. The Muslim population is about 20 million per Moscow Times.
Islam is also recognized as one of four ‘traditional’ religions in Russia, according to a report by the US State Department.
Although the country’s constitution protects religious freedom, authorities may punish individuals for acts of alleged religious extremism. In the report, the majority of individuals captured for their beliefs in 2019 were Muslim.
According to the Moscow Times, Putin himself spoke positively about Islam.
“Islam and Orthodox Christianity, like other world religions, are based on fundamental humanistic values that are of lasting importance – on grace and love for one’s neighbor, justice and respect for man,” he said in 2019.
In 2016, when responding to a question about the Islamic State, he also said, “I would prefer that Islam not be mentioned in vain along with terrorism,” according to the New York Times.
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Our rating: false
Based on our research, the allegation that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an anti-Muslim speech in 2013 is FALSE. There is no report that Putin has yet made such remarks about minorities or Muslims. The fake speech has been circulating on the internet since 2013.
Our sources for fact checking:
- Snopes, April 4, 2014, “Did Vladimir Putin deliver an anti-Islam speech?”
- PolitiFact, December 11, 2017, “Chain email incorrectly states that Putin delivered fiery anti-Islam speech”
- President of Russia, visited on 29 December, Transcripts
- Government of Russia, “Prime Minister Vladimir Putin takes part in an extensive meeting of the Council of the Federal Migration Service”
- Moscow Times, November 12, ‘Prohibition of mixed marriages for Russian Muslims allows setback’
- US State Department, 2019, “International Religious Freedom Reports: Russia”
- Moscow Times, November 22, 2019, “Islam and Orthodox Christianity have the same values, says Putin”
- New York Times, February 1, 2017, “The phrase Putin never uses about terrorism (and Trump does not)”
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Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.