A Look at Some Widely-Spread Falsehoods About Muslims

Mislabeled footage of an aggressive "Muslim migrant" shared by President Donald Trump is just one more hoax in a long line of fabricated anti-Islam stories.

  • Published 29 November 2017

Anti-Muslim fervor has been bubbling for years in the United States and Europe, periodically stoked by elected officials and media outlets. Most of these tropes — usually involving the “outraged Muslims demand special treatment” trope — are either partially or wholly false; but they are repeated ad infinitum anyway.

Here are some of our top stories:


1. A video of a teenager beating up a person on crutches was shared by President Donald Trump along with the claim that the antagonist is a “Muslim migrant.”

Did a ‘Muslim Migrant’ Beat Up a Dutch Boy on Crutches?

2. A video showing a religious procession in Bradford, England, was misrepresented as a protest by those with an anti-Muslim agenda.

Did Muslims March in Favor of Sharia Law in England?

3. A video showing a controversial Russian teacher smacking one of his students was recirculated with a claim that it shows a Muslim man slapping a Christian woman.

Muslim Man Slaps Christian Woman

4. A misrepresented video claimed that Muslims “attacked” a Christmas tree in a Western mall, but the clip documents a post-Christmas event in Cairo.

Did ‘Offended Muslims’ Attack a Christmas Tree?

5. A series of articles try fervently to blame immigrants and Muslims for the devastating fires — falsely, misleadingly, and without evidence.

Were Illegal Immigrants Arrested for Starting California Wildfires?

6. A hyperpartisan web site offered up a patchwork of half-truths and hyperbole to sow fear and hatred of refugees.

Did Somali Muslims Take Over a Small Tennessee Town?

7. A photograph of a sign bearing an ominous threat from the group “Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America” is a digital fabrication.

‘Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America’ Sign

8. No, Muslims didn’t recently decide to reschedule their celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed in order to disrupt Christmas.

FALSE: Muslims Declare December 24th an Islamic Holiday

9. A “satirical” web site regurgitated Islamophobic stereotypes in a post following Ravi Bhalla’s November 2017 election.

Did Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla ‘Vow to Glorify Islam In Every Decision’?

10. An unreliable web site claimed that then-President Barack Obama declared Islam is the U.S.’s “official religion.”

Obama Declares Islam as America’s Religion

11. White House adviser Valerie Jarrett did not say she seeks “to help change America to be a more Islamic country.”

Did Valerie Jarrett Say She Wants to ‘Help Change America to Be a More Islamic Country’?

12. Fake news reports that Dearborn, Michigan, has become the first U.S. city to implement Sharia law.

Has a City in Michigan Become the First in the U.S. to Fully Implement Sharia Law?

13. Photographs show sign-bearing Muslim protesters at a demonstration in London, but not a “Religion of Peace” demonstration.

Muslim ‘Religion of Peace’ Demonstration

14. U.S. General John J. Pershing did not effectively discourage Muslim terrorists in the Philippines by killing them and burying their bodies along with those of pigs.

General Pershing on How to Stop Islamic Terrorists

15. Misleading articles claimed Burger King “bowed to Sharia law” by banning bacon, and urged Americans to boycott the chain.

Burger King Bows to Sharia Law?

16. A questionable and clickbait web site completely misrepresented objections to a French mayor’s purported push against so-called “alternative menus.”

Did Muslims Demand Pork-Free Menus?