Is This Barack Obama Praying in a Mosque?

Former President Barack Obama removing his shoes

The White House/Handout/Getty Images

A viral message claims that​ former President Barack Obama prayed with Muslims in the White House after canceling The Christian National Day of Prayer.

Description: Viral image, text​

Circulating since: Jan. 2010​

Status: False (details below)

Obama at a Mosque

Email contributed by Cindy J., March 11, 2010:

Subject: Fw: LOOK WHO'S PRAYING!
And what was it he said to all of you that were in Washington, DC last week..... don't question my religion?
HE PRAYS WITH THE MUSLIMS!!
This is OUR President at a MOSQUE prayer session LAST WEEK AT THE WHITE HOUSE, on the site where the INAUGURATION is held every 4 years!
He canceled OUR CHRISTIAN "NATIONAL!!!! DAY OF PRAYER"... NOW... THIS.
For Obama to continue as our president is an INSULT TO OUR FOUNDING FATHERS! AND DISGUSTING TO EVERY RED BLOODED AMERICAN***
Forward this to every American Citizen as the media won't!

Analysis

Ridiculous on the face of it. How could there have been "a mosque prayer session at the White House" when there's no mosque on or near the White House grounds? Moreover, the image clearly does not show Obama praying; it shows him taking off his shoes. Finally, Obama doesn't pray in mosques; he's a Christian.

What the photograph does, in fact, show is President Obama removing his shoes, per custom, before entering the famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque ("Blue Mosque") in Istanbul during his April 2009 state visit to Turkey.

Obama toured the mosque. He didn't pray in it.

As to the claim that Obama "canceled our Christian National Day of Prayer," that's false on two counts: one, Obama did not cancel the National Day of Prayer; two, the National Day of Prayer isn't a Christian observance, it's an interfaith observance, and has been ever since it was designated so by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

Sources