Fact Check

Sajid Muhammed Sets Woman on Fire

A satirical meme mocking anti-Muslim Facebook content was mistaken as factual by some social media users.

Published Apr 11, 2016

A meme claimed that a British Muslim man named Sajid Muhammed set a woman on fire for eating a bacon sandwich, and was jailed for only two years.

On 6 April 2016, the Facebook page "Worldwide Infidels United" published the above-reproduced meme, along with the following text:

This is Sajid Muhammed, a Muslim man living in the UK. In 2002 he set a woman on fire for eating a bacon sandwitch and only got 2 year in prison! He was released early to appease the local Muslims protesting against his arrest! SHARE if you think he should be hung!

The text included a photograph of the actor Ian Hart, who portrayed Professor Quirinus Quirrell in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone:

sajid muhammed


The meme achieved tens of thousands of shares; a large number of those sharing were in on the joke, but not all of them. Some were outraged:

I'm not sure on the death penalty but he should served his sentence then been deported n not allowed a passport again pure evil the system over here stinks

It's unbelievable what these Muslims get away with in our country what is our government trying to do .God Help Us

Others were offended for different reasons:

Whoever put up this post should be prosecuted for using a misleading image from Harry Potter and The Philosophers stone to promote racist comment whoever you are you should be ashamed of yourself! And you need to apologise to the Muslim community for peddling such lies! Incitement to hatred is a criminal offence!

Putting aside any individual reader or commenter's interpretation, "World Infidels United" was not an anti-Muslim page, nor was its content meant to be taken literally. Additional content on the page clarified its satirical nature:

Please share to help spread the word!

Posted by Worldwide Infidels United on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The meme's maker was mocking British people who shared similar (but serious) anti-Muslim memes on Facebook, and wasn't literally claiming that Professor Quirrell set a woman on fire for eating a bacon sandwich.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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