Fox News Sorry for Reporting False Story About Obama and Muslim Museum

Fox News Apologizes

Fox News learned that it’s important to check the facts before reporting the news. On Saturday, Oct. 5, Fox & Friends broadcast a segment about how the government shutdown had closed the World War II Memorial. Weekend co-host Anna Kooiman added that President Obama had offered “to pay out of his own pocket for the Muslim Museum of Culture.”

The source turned out to be the National Report website which is known for its satire. The story was not true either in that the president was personally financing a museum or the claim that the Muslim Museum was federally funded. Kooiman has apologized via Twitter saying that she had “received flawed research” and that it “won’t happen again.”

What is true is that there really is an International Museum of Muslim Cultures, housed in the Mississippi Arts Center in Jackson. It was founded in 2000, almost a year before Sept. 11, and opened to the public six months before that tragic date. It receives funding from a variety of private sources and foundations including individuals, as well as the City of Jackson and the Mississippi Division of Tourism.

Muslim Museum

The museum’s goals have always been to educate the public about Islamic history and artifacts, and to promote understanding through the exchange of multicultural and interfaith discussions and knowledge. Their exhibit — The Legacy of Timbuktu: Wonders of the Western World, has manuscripts and other artifacts dating back to the 13th century. Timbuktu has been the well-educated, literate, sophisticated community for centuries with an international mix of scholars, students and teachers.

One of the items in the Timbuktu exhibit would be of particular interest to doctors and medical students. That is a manuscript on the medical practices of the 1700s and medicines used during that time.

In addition to the Timbuktu exhibit, visitors can also see its companion exhibit — Islamic Moorish Spain: Its Legacy to Europe and the West. This deals with the Moorish influence in many areas, such as food, music and architecture. One example is the Alhambra in Granada. Built during the 9th century as a fortress and palace, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Moorish Influence in Spain
Alhambra Palace in Spain

Since the museum opened, it has had visitors from 40 states and 45 countries. It had over 2,000 visitors during its first month in operation. For more information, the museum’s website is listed below.

Written by: Cynthia Collins

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International Museum of Muslim Cultures