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Story About Houston Mosque Refusing To Help Non-Muslims Is Fake News

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Story About Houston Mosque Refusing To Help Non-Muslims Is Fake News


Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.


Multiple fake news purveyors are pushing a story originating from a supposedly satirical website alleging that a Houston-area mosque is refusing to take in non-Muslim victims of Hurricane Harvey because of their religion. At least one of the fake news purveyors pushing the story is funded by Google AdSense.

On August 31, The Last Line of Defense, a website that claims it is satirical but has been repeatedlypromoted by fake news purveyors as if its stories were legitimate, published a piece claiming the “Ramashan Mosque outside of Houston” refused to take in “any non-Muslim people” impacted by Harvey “because it’s against their religion.” The next day, the website published another piece claiming “flood refugees banded together and kicked in the door to the mosque” to let themselves in. The August 31 article received more than 118,000 Facebook engagements and 1,100 Twitter engagements, and the September 1 piece received more than 1,800 Facebook engagements, according to social media analytics website BuzzSumo. The articles were also shared as seemingly real news by fringe conservative media personality Holly Henderson and by former parliamentary candidate of the anti-Muslim UK Independence Party Sharon McGonigal‏.

Qasim Rashid, a spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, subsequently pointed out that “no such mosque exists.” In fact, mosques in Houston have been actively aiding people impacted by Harvey. One of the men pictured in the Last Line of Defense articles, Ibrahim Hindy, a Canadian imam, noted on Twitterthat he had “never even been to Texas before.” (Hindy told Toronto’s CityNews that he was actually in Saudi Arabia completing an annual Muslim pilgrimage when the hurricane hit Texas.)

Multiple fake news purveyors ran with the made-up Last Line of Defense story, including All News 4 USA (which published both pieces and the photo of Hindy), American President Donald J. Trump, and Daily Post Feed. The Daily Post Feed article received more than 9,400 Facebook engagements and at least 1,000 Twitter engagements, according to BuzzSumo, and was also shared on Reddit’s “r the_Donald,” a forum that has previously helped far-right trolls and fake news purveyors spread misinformation. Multiple ad services are funding these fake news purveyors — these fake news articles about Harvey and the mosque carry their sponsored ads, including content.adGoogle AdSenseCriteoTrustArc, and MGID. Google has previously promised to fight AdSense being used to fund fake news.

The fake news story comes as fake news purveyors continue to push other fake news surrounding Harvey, some of which has even reached Fox News. It is also yet another example of fake news purveyors’ rampant Islamophobia.




  1. dbtheonly September 5, 2017

    Fake News goes much further than Islamophobia. I’ve seen at least two stories “disappeared” from this very site.

    I understand some of the pressures news services and news sites operate under. I can only urge their best efforts to not get spoofed.

    1. Daniel Jones September 5, 2017

      Some stories turn out to be poorly developed; did you mean those?

      1. dbtheonly September 5, 2017

        There were two, and since I only got a fleeting look, memory is suspect.

        One had Sen. Ben Cardin propose a trade barrier from anyone in Palestine or anyone who boycotts Israel because of their settlement policies.

        The second was recent. Ostensiblely, a woman of color insisted that Democrats have to quit trying to reach white people and focus on getting more persons of color registered to vote.

        I’m unsure to which you refer.

        I imagine that our Authors & Gracious Host can get spoofed as well as we.

  2. bobnstuff September 5, 2017

    Islam requires helping people in need just like the Christian faith. Do we know of any real stories of large Christian churches not opening their doors?

  3. jakenhyde September 5, 2017

    What was NOT fake news was that Joel Osteen refused to let refugees from the storm into his mega-church until public pressure forced him to do so. I saw him being interviewed on tv and he lied about why he wouldn’t allow outsiders in at first.

  4. stsintl September 5, 2017

    Romans 1:28-30
    And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

    Psalm 101:5
    Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.

    Psalm 15:1-3
    O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

    James 4:11
    Do not speak against one another, brethren he who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

    Exodus 23:1
    “You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.

    1. Beethoven September 5, 2017

      A good set of quotes from the book that evangelical “Christians” claim to follow, though in fact they emphasize and harp on about two percent of it, while ignoring the rest.

      1. dbtheonly September 5, 2017

        There are some good ones in the Old Testament about how to treat strangers. Hint: it goes along with loving your Neighbor as yourself.

  5. johninPCFL September 5, 2017

    It’s no real surprise that the idolaters worshipping the tangerine tyrant are easily led astray.

    1. dpaano September 5, 2017

      Agreed….any “fake news” to them is the real thing! They’re too uninformed and disinterested in hearing the REAL news!

  6. 788eddie September 5, 2017

    Why is it that we can see many examples of non-Christians behaving is a manner in which Christians say that Christians should behave.

    How about “these members of Islam were behaving in a manner that all caring human beings should behave.

    Bravo to the members of the Ramashan Mosque! And thank you for caring!

  7. dpaano September 5, 2017

    The most “fake news” comes from FAUX News, Breitbart, etc. Isn’t it funny that if it’s against Trump, it’s “fake news,” but if it’s something good about him….then it’s “real news?” Funny how that works! There was a good article in the LA Times the other day showing Muslim men and women wading waist deep in water and helping to rescue people…..black people, latino people….all kinds of people! They didn’t ask, they weren’t invited, but they stepped in and helped out. As far as I’m concerned, they’re more “christian” than the evangelical Christians!!!

    1. dbtheonly September 5, 2017

      d, Fox’s agenda dictates the tenor of stories followed. It’s sometimes fun to watch them ignore something big because it’ll make Trump or Republicans look bad.

      Though, given Trump’s TV habits, I’m unsure who is leading and who following. Might it be that Fox announced & Trump then picks that up to be policy?

      1. stsintl September 6, 2017

        Yes, I agree. Trump gets his information from Faux News rather than from his cabinet secretaries and White House staff. Then he confirms it with his tweets.

  8. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 5, 2017

    America is swirling in a whirlpool of irresponsible behavior, engendered by innumerable amoral elements in America, Russia, and elsewhere.

    “Behold the confusion of the tribes of the defeated” is a phrase used by Baha’u’llah, and later by Abdu’l Baha, to describe the phenomenon of a world-wide process of the unraveling of humanity, and accurately describes this unbridled delight in spreading falsehood and promoting anarchy and confusion which abounds in America.

    This is just another way of degrading America and diminishing its possibility of being a bastion and beacon for right-minded behavior. That beacon is daily dimming, and the bastion has become a sieve.

  9. stsintl September 6, 2017

    One of the key requirements for successful dictatorships is control of the Free Press. By constantly mixing Fake News with True News, you make people loose confidence in the News Media. Once that’s been done, the dictator takes over the News Media and that completes the firm grip on the people.


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