FACT CHECK: Was Obama ‘Furious’ After Being Photographed Carrying ‘The Post-American World’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook more than 124,000 times claims former President Barack Obama was “furious” for being photographed carrying the book “The Post-American World.”

“PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS FURIOUS THAT HE WAS CAUGHT ON CAMERA AND IT WAS PUBLISHED AND TRIED TO BLOCK IT,” reads the caption. “The name of the book Obama is holding is called: The Post-American World, and it was written by a fellow Muslim. (Fareed Zakaria) ‘Post’ America means: The World ‘After’ America!”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Obama was “furious” about the picture or that he “tried to block” its publication. The conspiracy theory that Obama is secretly a Muslim has been previously debunked numerous times.

Fact Check:

The New York Times photographer Doug Mills took the photo in May 2008 while Obama was campaigning in Montana and later published it. The image does, as the post claims, show Obama holding CNN Worldwide host and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria’s book “The Post-American World.” (RELATED: Are Muslims Barred From Holding Public Office In The US?)

There is, however, no indication that Obama was caught off-guard by the photograph or tried to stop its publication. At the time Mills was a known member of the press covering the then-presidential candidate on the campaign trail. No news reporting could be found to corroborate the claim that Obama was “furious” about the photo or that he “tried to block it.”

Published in May 2008, Zakaria’s book was a New York Times bestseller and critically acclaimed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Foreign Affairs and others. It paints a picture of a future where other nations match the U.S. in terms of geopolitical, economic and cultural power. Zakaria has stated that, despite the title, the book is not about the “decline” of American, but rather “about the rise of everyone else.”

The post’s claim that Obama is Zakaria’s “fellow Muslim” doesn’t hold up either. Zakaria wrote in a 2015 op-ed for the Washington Post that he was “not a practicing Muslim.” The conspiracy theory that Obama secretly practices Islam dates back over a decade and has been throughly debunked numerous times.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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