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Very Old News: Sharifa Alkhateeb Talking About Using Public Schools to Convert America to Islam... In 1989

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 07 Jan 2019 17:13:38 Z)

Did Sharifa Alkhateeb talk about converting America to Islam in a video? Yes, she did, back in 1989, several years before she died in 2004. For some reason a video clip of a speech she made at a conference thirty years ago in August 1989 went viral in January of 2019.

The clip was created via C-SPAN's clipping service on June 4, 2018 with the title "Sharifa Alkhateeb Talks About Using Public Schools to Convert America to Islam" (archived here) which had following description:

The late managing editor of the International Institute for Islamic Thought's American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Sharifa Alkhateeb, talks about using U.S. schools to proselytize Islam & about making the state Islamic.

Screenshot of https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4732679/sharifa-alkhateeb-talks-public-schools-convert-america-islam

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and many people believed it to be a recent clip:

Sharifa Alkhateeb Talks About Using Public Schools to Convert America to Islam

The late managing editor of the International Institute for Islamic Thought's American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Sharifa Alkhateeb, talks about using U.S. schools to proselytize Islam &...

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes c-span.org as:

The website for cable and satellite broadcaster C-SPAN, publishing live and unedited video of U.S. government proceedings and briefings, without adding commentary.

According to NewsGuard the site can generally be trusted to maintain journalistic standards. Read their full assessment here.

However the clipping service on the site allows anyone to create snippets of video with a user defined title and description. This feature has been abused before to eliminate context in order to create controversial video clips in the past:

The clip was created from a video from the "Muslim Americans Political Awereness Conference" in 1989 which can be viewed in full here.

According to data from CrowdTangle the link started being shared on Facebook on January 6 2018 in the group "Donald Trump For President 2020!!!!!!" via a post by Gary Clayton: https://www.facebook.com/groups/donaldtrump4president2016/permalink/2827533770606521/ (archived here). Since then the link has been posted at least 62 times in various political Facebook groups resulting in over 20,000 shares and over 100,000 engagements in total.

Sharifa Alkhateeb has been dead almost fifteen years (she passed away on October 21, 2004) so it is unclear why the video suddenly became a viral sensation now:

Sharifa Alkhateeb - Wikipedia

Sharifa Alkhateeb was born on June 6, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father was Yemeni and her mother was from the Czech Republic. After finishing high school, Alkhateeb continued her education, receiving her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident 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.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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