Did Obama Declare December National Muslim Appreciation Month?

Obama Declares December As National Muslim Appreciation Month
A website claiming Obama has declared December "National Muslim Appreciation Month" isn't an actual Fox News site. (Screen capture of foxnews.com.hk)

Synopsis: Internet users are circulating a fake "Fox News" story via social media claiming that President Obama declared December "National Muslim Appreciation Month." Obama has made no such declaration, nor are any other statements or quotations in the article accurate or true. Though many people have seen fit to share and repost it, it's clearly a prank.


Description: Fake news / Hoax
Circulating since: November 2015
Status: False

Example:
Posted on FoxNews.com.hk, November 7, 2015:

Obama Declares December As National Muslim Appreciation Month

Written by: Darius Rubics

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama held a press conference today to announce his decision which will make the month of December ‘National Muslim Appreciation Month’.

“The Muslim community deserves our full acceptance and respect,” Obama told reporters. “We have disrespected these innocent and peaceful people in so many ways. We have killed millions of Muslims overseas since the September 11th attacks. They are not all bad. In fact most of them are good. So from now on, December will be a month to celebrate the Muslim people, the Sunnah and the Quran.”


Analysis: With the recent ISIS terror attacks in Paris, the timing was right for this poorly written, unoriginal bit of satire, which otherwise would have probably never seen the light of day. The article was published on Nov.

7, 2015, several days before the attacks occurred, on FoxNews.com.hk, a web domain which, despite appearances, has nothing to do with Fox News or any of its parent companies or affiliates. No legitimate news organization was involved in its dissemination.

According to its WHOIS listing, the domain's actual owner is one Paul Horner, a serial prankster and prolific author of fake news articles on a number of different websites.

By the looks of things, Mr. Horner is running out of fresh ideas. An almost identical article appeared two years ago on the news satire site NationalReport.net. It, too, bore the pseudonymous byline "Darius Rubics," and it, too, claimed that Obama held a press conference announcing a "Muslim Appreciation Month."

As the debunkers at Politifact.com pointed out at the time, no such proclamation appears anywhere on the White House website or on any other government websites, because no such proclamation was made.

"He has declared heritage months for Irish-Americans, Asian-Americans, Caribbean-Americans and Hispanics," wrote Politifact's Becky Bowers. "He has proclaimed a month for appreciation of African-American music. But nothing about Muslims."

Which must come as a shock to all those further-right American citizens who have convinced themselves not only that Barack Obama is sympathetic to Muslim extremists, but that he is a covert Muslim and dedicated to either converting the entire country or letting Islamic terrorists destroy it. Those people are the target audience of this hoax, of course. They find the premise plausible and outrageous, so they share the article. They share it a lot, in fact, which is precisely what Paul Horner intended.

Had they read through to the end, they would have found this paragraph in which the author gives himself away:

Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin, whose real name is Paul Horner, is a mascot for a Christian organization that travels around the country speaking to children about the dangers of masturbation, told Fox News he does not agree with what Obama is doing.

It pays to read what you're about to post before clicking that Share button. Just sayin'.

Sources and further reading:

Obama Declares December As National Muslim Appreciation Month
FoxNews.com.hk (hoax website), 9 November 2015

‘Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month,’ Bloggers Claim
Politifact.com, 3 October 2014

The Prankster Who Faces Castration in Louisiana
Vocativ.com, 18 September 2014

Last updated 11/15/15

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Your Citation
Emery, David. "Did Obama Declare December National Muslim Appreciation Month?" ThoughtCo, May. 30, 2016, thoughtco.com/december-national-muslim-appreciation-month-3298759. Emery, David. (2016, May 30). Did Obama Declare December National Muslim Appreciation Month? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/december-national-muslim-appreciation-month-3298759 Emery, David. "Did Obama Declare December National Muslim Appreciation Month?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/december-national-muslim-appreciation-month-3298759 (accessed November 24, 2017).