Fake News: Muslim Mayor Did NOT Cancel 4th Of July In Haskentot, Minnesota

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Muslim Mayor Did NOT Cancel 4th Of July In Haskentot, Minnesota

Did Mayor Ahneid al Ahmed of Haskentot, Minnesota cancel the town's 4th of July celebration? No, that's not true, the story was made up by a site that loves to create satirical hoaxes that will get conservatives and Trump supporters angry enough so they share them online without checking if they are actually true. Fans of the site then mock them for it in comment sections on social media. The story is not real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on June 11, 2018 titled "BREAKING: Muslim Mayor Cancels 4th Of July" (archived here) which opened:

Mayor Ahneid al Ahmed of Haskentot, Minnesota has done the unthinkable and canceled the 4th of July. According to his office, the city has no desire to spend money on something so frivolous. Muslim spokesman Art Tubolls said:

"This city elected our mayor to do what is best. We don't hink buying a bunch of flags and fireworks and spending a day celebrating nationalism like nazis is a good idea."

There is no town called Haskentot in Minnesota and the link in the article goes to a sign that reads "Gotham", another fictional city.

The picture used to illustrate the story is an actual muslim mayor who doesn't celebrate the 4th of July (because they don't celebrate that in Britain):

Sadiq Khan elected first London Muslim mayor

Londoners voted in Khan, 45, as the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital city. He will take office in a metropolis where his fellow Muslims comprise about 12% of the population. His victory followed an unusually bitter campaign against Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, the son of a billionaire, in which race and religion have proven ugly flashpoints.

America's Last Line of Defense comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up and he keeps knocking them down.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

We wrote about americaslastlineofdefense.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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