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An image posted to a Facebook group claims that Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia Stacey Abrams is a "communist" and affiliated with the "Muslim-Brotherhood." The photo, posted to the "Watters World Fans" Facebook group on Nov. 3, shows Abrams smiling next to activist Linda Sarsour. In the viral photo, the two are holding up a blue sign that reads, "Communist Stacey Abrams Governor #MuslimBrotherhood."
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) As of Tuesday morning, the post had been shared 866 times.
The Facebook user who posted it, Yossi Kamar, responded to a message Monday asking about the photo with, "No it is not a fact post."
Kamar said she’s not sure where she first saw the photo.
"I usually post facts. This one was fake. And lots of people know what," Kamar said. "Stacy (sic) made a mistake posing with Linda. That was more then (sic) enough for people."
A reverse image search quickly shows the photo in the viral post was altered.
On Jan. 20, Stacey Abrams posted a similar photo on Twitter with Sarsour. In it, the sign they’re holding reads, "Stacey Abrams. Governor."
"Proud to stand with activist, organizer and @womensmarch national co-chair @lsarsour during #WomensMarch2018. When women speak up, stand up and show up for progress, incredible things happen. Let’s get to work," Abrams wrote.
Sarsour has also tweeted her support for Abrams, and on May 22, wrote, "The engine behind the Stacey Abrams campaign and primary win are Black women. #FollowBlackWomen #TrustBlackWomen #BlackWomenLead #TeamAbrams "
Sarsour is a political activist who has championed social justice issues in New York, is the former Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and she was recently the national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. And according to her website and the New York Times, she’s also a Palestinian Muslim American.
Sarsour has tweeted about the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist political organization in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, multiple times. She reiterated in 2013 that she doesn’t support them.
"That's my position. Simple," Sarsour wrote in a July 2013 tweet.
In response to PolitiFact’s inquiry, Priyanka Mantha, Abrams’ communications director, sent a link to an Oct. 9 Associated Press story with the headline, "NOT REAL NEWS: Georgia gubernatorial candidate backed by Muslim Brotherhood."
"This photo has been doctored to imply that Stacey Abrams has affiliations she does not have," Mantha told The Associated Press at the time. "While true that the photo was taken with one of the co-chairs of the Women’s March in 2018, the sign being held up has been altered in a deceitful attempt to mislead voters."
This isn’t the first time a reference to "Muslim Brotherhood" has been used to attack politicians. One ad recently tried to connect Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat running to represent California’s 50th district in the U.S. House race, to the group. We rated that claim Pants on Fire!
An altered photo tried to tie Abrams to the "Muslim-Brotherhood," by adding words like "Communist" and "#MuslimBrotherhood," to a photo of her with Palestinian Muslim American activist Linda Sarsour.
Everyone agrees the image is a lie: Abrams’ campaign said the viral image had been altered and the user who posted the photo acknowledged it was fake.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Yossi Kamar’s Facebook post, Nov. 3, 2018
Facebook message exchange with Yossi Kamar, Nov. 5, 2018
Linda Sarsour’s tweet, May 22, 2018
Linda Sarsour’s tweet, July 11, 2013
Twitter search of Sarsour’s tweets, Nov. 5, 2018
Stacey Abrams’ tweet, Jan. 20, 2018
Mother Jones, "America Has Never Had a Black Woman Governor. Stacey Abrams Has Something to Say About That," May/June 2018 Issue
Linda Sarsour’s website, "About Linda," accessed Nov. 5, 2018
The New York Times, "Linda Sarsour Is a Brooklyn Homegirl in a Hijab," Aug. 7, 2015
PolitiFact, "Did CAIR, Muslim Brotherhood back a Democratic candidate?" Nov. 1, 2018
Vote Smart, "Stacey Abrams’ biography," accessed Nov. 5, 2018
PolitiFact, "Did Stacey Abrams burn Georgia's flag?" Oct. 25, 2018
Associated Press, "NOT REAL NEWS: Georgia gubernatorial candidate backed by Muslim Brotherhood," Oct. 9, 2018
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