That headline subsequently circulated on social media and was widely accepted as a direct quote from President Obama. However, the President’s complete remarks, in context, were posted to the White House’s web site and revealed a different substance than the misleading Breitbart headline that was widely circulated online:
Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr
As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families. This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate. While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.
In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy. That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.
On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration. Eid Mubarak.
Unlike the Breitbart headline, the President’s statement specifically referenced Muslim Americans, not Muslims in general. And the headline’s substitution of “built” for “building” led many readers to believe that President Obama asserted Muslims had been making vital contributions to guiding the United States since this country’s inception, when in context of his statement it was clear that he was recognizing the modern ongoing contributions (not historical ones) of Muslim Americans (not all Muslims in general) to “building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”