The Truth-O-Meter Says:
Bloggers

"Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month."

Bloggers on Friday, September 27th, 2013 in blog posts

‘Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month,’ bloggers claim

The headline flew around the conservative blogosphere: "Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month."

The fact that it came from a website, National Report, known for Onion-like satire, didn’t stop some bloggers from reporting it as news.

The piece was packed with fake details designed to press anti-Muslim buttons: President Barack Obama held a news conference to make his declaration. He said Muslims "are not all bad. In fact, most of them are good."

His announcement was hailed by a "member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party." He said he would work with Congress to make it easier for Muslims to earn U.S. citizenship.

"Mr. Matei of the Muslim Brotherhood assured me they want to come to this country to help us, not harm us," he was reported to say.

Following other attempts to paint Obama as a Muslim -- such as this one that we rated Pants on Fire -- the National Report’s gambit worked.

"How dare Obama declare November, the month when we give thanks to God for our blessings and great nation, National Muslim Appreciation Month!" wrote a blogger for Tea Party Nation.

The PolitiFact inbox saw email after email with links to such stories from readers who got it from outraged friends.

Urban-legend debunker Snopes.com quickly confirmed that it originated with National Report.

The headline was utterly invented, and the event was entirely fabricated.

While we didn’t hear back from the White House, we found no evidence of any such proclamation at the White House website.

We also asked Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"I’m fairly certain they haven’t. Otherwise, I would have heard about it," he said.

Obama regularly commemorates Muslim holidays alongside Christian and Jewish ones. He’s proclaimed a Jewish American Heritage Month, a National Day of Prayer and a Religious Freedom Day, noting, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers."

He has declared heritage months for Irish-Americans, Asian-Americans, Caribbean-Americans and Hispanics. He has proclaimed a month for appreciation of African-American music. But nothing about Muslims.

As for Obama’s purported proclamation, the Tea Party Nation blogger posted an update to her outrage: "Just found out this article was a hoax. They sure fooled me. However, my comments still stand if O should ever do such a thing."

Our ruling

Bloggers posted a claim that the president had declared November "National Muslim Appreciation Month." He hasn’t — the claim was based on a piece of Internet satire. We rate the claim Pants on Fire.

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About this statement:

Published: Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 4:01 p.m.

Subjects: Islam, Religion

Sources:

National Report, "Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month," Sept. 27, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Conservatism, "Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month," Sept. 27, 2013

Tea Party Nation, "Obama Declares November Muslim Appreciation Month," Sept. 28, 2013

MinutemanNews.com, "Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month," Sept. 28, 2013

White House, "Proclamations," Sept. 30, 2013

White House, "Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan," July 8, 2013

White House, "Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid al-Fitr," Aug. 7, 2013

White House, "President Obama's Rosh Hashanah Greeting," Sept. 13, 2012

White House, "Statement by the President on Easter Weekend," March 29, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- Religious Freedom Day," Jan. 16, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- National Day of Prayer, 2013," May 1, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2013," May 24, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- Jewish American Heritage Month, 2013," April 30, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month," 2013," April 30, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- Irish-American Heritage Month, 2013," Feb. 28, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2013," Sept. 13, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- African-American Music Appreciation Month," 2013," May 31, 2013

White House, "Presidential Proclamation -- National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2013," May 31, 2013

District of Columbia Mayor’s Office, "Mayor Gray Wishes District’s Muslims a Blessed Ramadan," July 8, 2013

Council on American-Islamic Relations, "D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gary issues proclamation honoring October as America’s Islamic Heritage Month," Oct. 1, 2013, via Facebook

America's Islamic Heritage Museum, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's proclamation of Islamic Heritage Month, Sept. 29, 2012, via Facebook

America's Islamic Heritage Museum, accessed Oct. 2, 2013

Snopes, "November Surprise," Sept. 28, 2013

Email interview with Doxie McCoy, senior communications manager for Mayor Vincent Gray, Aug. 3, 2013

Interview with Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oct. 3, 2013

Written by: Becky Bowers
Researched by: Becky Bowers
Edited by: Louis Jacobson

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