Fake Muslim News of the Day. Media caught again.
Reporters have done it again.
The latest media misfire on the Trump administration involves Ibtihaj Muhammad, a New Jersey native who made headlines last year when she became the first female Muslim-American to win an Olympic medal for the United States.
Muhammad, a lifelong American citizen, claimed in an interview last week that she was detained “just a few weeks ago” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. She said she was held for two hours without explanation.
Her remarks on Feb. 7 earned her an entire news cycle, as several journalists ran with reports suggesting, and alleging outright, that the American Olympian had been ensnared in the president’s executive order temporarily barring immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries.
But Muhammad has since clarified crucial parts of her story, including the date on which she was detained. A Customs official with direct knowledge of the incident has also disputed much of how she characterized what happened.
“She comes and goes many times. She travels quite extensively. She has never been stopped before,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Monday in an interview with the Washington Examiner, confirming that she was indeed detained. “She wasn’t targeted. The checks are totally random; random checks that we all might be subject to.”
Muhammad was also not held for two hours, he said, adding that the entire ordeal wrapped up in under an hour.
Many journalists skipped over the “when” of Muhammad’s story, and rushed to publish reports tying her story to the president’s immigration order.
The Daily Mail said of the incident that it, “comes after Donald Trump signed an executive order – currently suspended – banning travel from seven largely Muslim countries causing chaos in US airports.”
The Hill published an article whose opening paragraph read, “A Muslim-American Olympic medalist says she was detained by Customs for nearly two hours without explanation after President Trump‘s travel ban was instituted a few weeks ago.”
Journalists reacted to the story on social media with the usual mixture of despair and outrage.
The problem with this particular news cycle is that Muhammad was detained in 2016, weeks before Trump had even been sworn in as America’s 45th president.
To put it plainly, reports suggesting, and alleging, that the executive order had ensnared an American champion are totally false.
…Muhammad isn’t blameless in all of this. A less-than-charitable person would suspect her of being intentionally vague and imprecise. She was asked a simple “yes or no” question about the president’s immigration order. Instead of giving a simple answer, she provided an anecdote involving the very misleading use of “just a few weeks ago.”
Read it all.
PS: One Twitter user tried to get Muhammad’s perspective on the Koran, here was the response: