An image of a woman in a pro-Taliban meeting at Kabul University has been digitally morphed and disseminated as a male dressed in a burqa at the meet.
Several Afghan women have protested in Kabul against the Taliban's Islamist policies, seeking access to education, jobs, and civic participation. On the other hand, on September 11, 2021, women wearing full-face masks supported the Taliban at an event. These women gathered in the auditorium of Kabul University and pledged to follow the Taliban's policies. The visuals of the event went popular on social media.
Women sat in the auditorium wearing full-length robes and veils covering their faces in the images of the event. However, a male appeared to be wearing an abaya in one of the photographs. In the viral shot, a man's face could be seen under a burqa, and he appears to be seated alongside numerous ladies clutching Taliban flags. Some social media users claimed the Taliban reportedly clad males in burqas to show that women support them.
An analysis revealed that photoshop had been used to create the viral picture. We did a reverse image search on the viral photo and discovered a few tweets that included the original image. The photo was uploaded on Twitter by Lotfullah Najafizada, the head of TOLOnews TV, with the description "Pro-Taliban women gathering in Kabul."
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and activist, posted the image on Twitter with the statement, "To my western sisters: When we are fighting against compulsory hijab please do not downplay our cause. This is how women are going to live under the Taliban rule. Compulsory hijab is the main pillar of a gender apartheid upholding religious dictatorship."
The Khaama Press News Agency, an Afghan website, reported the event and published the same photo. In conclusion, an image from a pro-Taliban demonstration is manipulated with an editing tool and circulated with the false claim that the Taliban brought men clad in abayas to demonstrate Afghan women's support.