Story about mother dying in Iraq after being denied entry to US a hoax

A man who claimed that his mother died in Iraq waiting to be allowed into the U.S. after being banned by President Trump's executive order is a liar, says his imam in Dearborn, Mich.

The story went viral when it hit the wires early this week and became a symbol of the heartlessness of President Trump's ban on travelers from some Muslim countries.

Fox 2:

Imam Husham Al-Hussainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, says Mike Hager's mom did not pass away this weekend after being barred from traveling to the United States. The Imam confirms that Hager's mother died before the ban was put in place.

On Tuesday, Mike Hager told FOX 2 that he and his family were stopped while trying to return from Iraq to Michigan. He said that he was allowed through because of his American citizenship but his ailing mother and other family members were not. He then claimed that his mom passed away in Iraq on Saturday, as he was traveling to the United States.

ravelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are banned from traveling to the United States for 90 days so the country can detect "individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States."

After the story aired on FOX 2 and was posted on FOX2Detroit.com, we received many questions about the validity of Hager's claims that his mother died waiting to be approved to come home. FOX 2 has confirmed that his mother died five days earlier.

According to Al-Hussainy, Hager's mother had kidney disease and was receiving treatment in Michigan - where she lived - before traveling to Iraq to visit family. The Imam said she passed away on January 22, 2017, five days before President Trump instituted the travel ban.

"That's true. The 22nd of January, his mom died," Al-Hussainy said. "She did die but that was a couple weeks ago - before the ban."

Al-Hussainy says Hager contacted him on January 19th to tell him his mother was very sick with kidney disease and he was going to Iraq to be with her. She died there on January 22nd and another mosque in the Detroit area here even held a prayer service in her honor.

The Imam, who voted for Trump, did not want to address the general unrest over the travel ban or the weekend chaos for travelers and protesters at the airports. Instead, he called for peace and patience.

Using the death of your mother to make a political statement – and a false one at that is about as low as it gets.  And the left glomming on to the story as a metaphor for the "cruelty" of Trump's order shows the desperation and hysterical overreaction that have marked opposition to the order since day one.

There have been some pretty stupid incidents overseas by American officials who either were overzealous in applying the order or didn't fully understand the scope of it.  Some of those misunderstandings the ban on green card holders, for example have been fixed.  Others are going to be addressed in the coming days.  The point is, a lot of this could have been avoided with better preparation and planning by the White House before the order was issued.

But the hoax involving a U.S. citizen's foreign mother has nothing to do with any misunderstanding.  It was purely a political ploy to build opposition to the president's executive order by spreading lies and rumors about its untoward consequences. 

A man who claimed that his mother died in Iraq waiting to be allowed into the U.S. after being banned by President Trump's executive order is a liar, says his imam in Dearborn, Mich.

The story went viral when it hit the wires early this week and became a symbol of the heartlessness of President Trump's ban on travelers from some Muslim countries.

Fox 2:

Imam Husham Al-Hussainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, says Mike Hager's mom did not pass away this weekend after being barred from traveling to the United States. The Imam confirms that Hager's mother died before the ban was put in place.

On Tuesday, Mike Hager told FOX 2 that he and his family were stopped while trying to return from Iraq to Michigan. He said that he was allowed through because of his American citizenship but his ailing mother and other family members were not. He then claimed that his mom passed away in Iraq on Saturday, as he was traveling to the United States.

ravelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are banned from traveling to the United States for 90 days so the country can detect "individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States."

After the story aired on FOX 2 and was posted on FOX2Detroit.com, we received many questions about the validity of Hager's claims that his mother died waiting to be approved to come home. FOX 2 has confirmed that his mother died five days earlier.

According to Al-Hussainy, Hager's mother had kidney disease and was receiving treatment in Michigan - where she lived - before traveling to Iraq to visit family. The Imam said she passed away on January 22, 2017, five days before President Trump instituted the travel ban.

"That's true. The 22nd of January, his mom died," Al-Hussainy said. "She did die but that was a couple weeks ago - before the ban."

Al-Hussainy says Hager contacted him on January 19th to tell him his mother was very sick with kidney disease and he was going to Iraq to be with her. She died there on January 22nd and another mosque in the Detroit area here even held a prayer service in her honor.

The Imam, who voted for Trump, did not want to address the general unrest over the travel ban or the weekend chaos for travelers and protesters at the airports. Instead, he called for peace and patience.

Using the death of your mother to make a political statement – and a false one at that is about as low as it gets.  And the left glomming on to the story as a metaphor for the "cruelty" of Trump's order shows the desperation and hysterical overreaction that have marked opposition to the order since day one.

There have been some pretty stupid incidents overseas by American officials who either were overzealous in applying the order or didn't fully understand the scope of it.  Some of those misunderstandings the ban on green card holders, for example have been fixed.  Others are going to be addressed in the coming days.  The point is, a lot of this could have been avoided with better preparation and planning by the White House before the order was issued.

But the hoax involving a U.S. citizen's foreign mother has nothing to do with any misunderstanding.  It was purely a political ploy to build opposition to the president's executive order by spreading lies and rumors about its untoward consequences. 

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