Does This Photograph Show a Blood-Stained Quran from the Christchurch, NZ, Attack?

A simple yet powerfully poignant reminder of the human toll of mass shootings.

  • Published 20 March 2019


A photograph shows a blood-stained Quran found after the March 2019 Christchurch mass shootings.


About this rating


Two consecutive mass shootings by a single gunman targeting Muslims at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 15 March 2019 killed 50 people.

In the days after, social media posts shared an image of a blood-stained Quran that was said to have been found at the scene of the tragedy:

We don’t know the specific origins of this image, but we can say with certainty that it does not depict a Quran connected with the March 2019 mass shootings in New Zealand, as it had already been posted online six months earlier, in September 2018. In that latter case, it was offered as a photograph of a “Quran stained with the blood of children massacred in a US drone strike in Somalia that destroyed a Qur’an school and a Hospital”:

The United States has been carrying out air and drone strikes against Islamist militant targets in Somalia for about 10 years, and in 2017 the Trump administration reportedly “relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the American military carries out counterterrorism strikes in Somalia.” We can’t say whether this image truly stemmed from one such drone strike, but we do know its association with the Christchurch shootings is not accurate.
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes