A photo posted on Facebook of a sign outside of a Dearborn, Mich., mosque advertises that it has been placed by the Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America. It reads, “AMERICA WE WILL KILL YOU ALL AND NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT” and exults “ALLAH BE PRAISED.”
The facts: The photo of an outdoor sign has been identified in social media postings as belonging to a mosque or some other Islam-associated administrative building, Snopes.com reports.
But neither the sign nor the organization is real.
Like others that we’ve seen before, the photo is a fake, created using the Church Sign Maker, a website that allowed users to create realistic-looking images of church signs bearing messages of their choosing. Here was the come-on:
“Ever seen those signs in front of churches with the moveable letters? Ever wanted to rearrange the letters to make your own church sign? Well, now you can. Choose a design below, add your text, and a personalized church sign photo will be created for you! Save it, send it to a friend, put on your website or use it however you like. Enjoy!”
At least the site declared: “Note: these church signs aren’t real, they don’t exist in the real world. You’ll be making a fake photo of a church sign.”
In this case, the “Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America” sign is clearly an altered version of the Church Sign Maker’s “Classic Design #5” offering as indicated by the identical nature of the two signs’ sizes, shapes and background objects in their photos. Snopes.com, PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org all debunked the sign and called out the Church Sign Maker’s website. All the fact-checkers tried to find references to the Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America, as did we, but couldn’t find any indication that the group exists.
When we tried to access the church sign maker site, www.says-it.com, it wasn’t still active. There were other church sign generators, but this previously popular one was not accessible.
FactCheck.org points out that many anti-Muslim rumors have circulated about Dearborn.
Why? It has one of the largest proportions of Arab Americans in the country. According to a 2003 U.S. Census Bureau report on the Arab population in the U.S., there were approximately 29,181 Arabs living in Dearborn in 2000 — which amounts to about 30 percent of the city’s total population of 97,775. That is “by far” the largest proportion of Arabs “among places of similar size,” the report said.