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Muslim Museum: Hoax News Story Has Been Good for Us

Muslim Museum: Hoax News Story Has Been Good for Us
emilydickinsonridesabmx via Flickr

It turns out hoax news reports can do more than make people look really stupid.

A Phoenix media hoaxer "reported" a couple of weeks ago that President Obama was funding a Muslim museum out of his own pocket during the government shutdown, which a Fox News host repeated as fact on-air. The director of that museum does not appear to be upset by this at all.

See also:
-Fox News Relies on Phoenix Hoaxer to Report Obama's Funding a Muslim Museum

Although it sounds as if it should be part of the hoax, it's true that there's a museum of Muslim culture in the deep South. International Museum of Muslim Cultures co-founder Okolo Rashid issued a press release stating that it "would be a wonderful thing" if Obama were really funding the museum out of his own pocket, but he's not.

(Yes, we used Google Maps to make sure this place existed, and that the hoaxer, Paul Horner, wasn't pulling an extremely complicated hoax on us.)

A street view of the Muslim culture museum in Jackson, Mississippi.
A street view of the Muslim culture museum in Jackson, Mississippi.
Google Maps

"This story, however, got even greater fame on Saturday when Fox News' Fox and Friends morning program host Anna Kooiman repeated the National Report storyline about President Obama going into his own pockets to support the Museum," the press release states. "Although Ms. Kooiman has since apologized on tweeter [sic] for what she called 'flawed research,' this created a news frenzy that has been good for IMMC."

The museum's not federally funded to begin with, but is more than willing to take your donations through its website.

What if Horner, our local media-hoaxer, is just trying to do good deeds? Because of him, Fox News made an on-air apology -- something we haven't seen on that channel since they aired a man's suicide on live TV.

You can read the museum's statement in full on the next page:
 

IMMC in the National News with False Claims

IMMC was surprised to be given a national spotlight by the National Report, an online satire news source. Last Friday, October 4, 2013, it published a fictitious article wherein, IMMC was listed as having received a special contribution from President Barack Obama. The article claimed that, although other federally funded museums were closed because of the government shutdown, IMMC would remain open, because President Obama had stated in a press conference that he was taking his own personal monies to keep it open. This, of course, would be a wonderful thing, if it were true. However, it is not true.

This story, however, got even greater fame on Saturday when Fox News' Fox and Friends morning program host Anna Kooiman repeated the National Report storyline about President Obama going into his own pockets to support the Museum. Although Ms. Kooiman has since apologized on tweeter for what she called "flawed research", this created a news frenzy that has been good for IMMC.

IMMC is not a federally funded institution. And no, we've not received any funds, or contribution from President Obama, although we would welcome such contribution. We are an independent non-profit institution that is supported by its membership, grants and other donations and contributions from individuals, businesses, City, County, States, and national sources, as well as local and national foundations.

Please, if you would like to support IMMC and its work, you may donate online through our website (see above) or send your check or money order to: IMMC, 201 East Pascagoula Street, Jackson, MS 39201.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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