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Anti-America Image From Iran, Not Michigan

Quick Take

A popular meme wrongly claims that a photo showing protesters advocating the demise of the U.S. was taken in Michigan. The image is from a 2013 rally in Iran.

Full Story

Facebook users have spread a meme that falsely presents an anti-America image as if it were taken in Michigan.

“This is not the Middle-East where America is hated and terrorists are born,” the meme erroneously claims. “THIS IS MICHIGAN.”

Actually, the image was taken in the Middle East.

The photo — depicting several young women in head coverings showing the palms of their hands, on some of which was written “Down with USA” — was taken at a rally more than five years ago in Iran, reverse image searches make clear.

Taken by Abedin Taherkenareh for the European Pressphoto Agency, the picture appeared in multiple news stories covering the November 2013 rally in Iran’s capital, Tehran.

The protest was one that occurs annually to mark the anniversary of the 1979 start of the Iran hostage crisis, when Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy and held more than 50 Americans hostage for 444 days. The episode derailed diplomatic relations between the countries.

It is not the first time the image has been presented as if taken domestically.

In early March, the actor James Woods shared the image in a tweet that suggested it showed people in the U.S. Referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he wrote: “#ICE should roll through this district with every available agent and deport every single #IllegalAlien. Every. Single. One.”

The tweet earned nearly 10,800 retweets and 23,800 likes.

Michigan is home to one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and the state previously has been targeted by other fictitious stories about Muslims. Last year, for example, a social media post falsely claimed that the city of Dearborn — home to the largest mosque in the U.S. — had “cancelled” all Christmas permits. It hadn’t. Dearborn has also publicly refuted false rumors about the existence of Sharia, or Islamic law, in the city.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on the social media network.


City of Dearborn, Michigan (@cityofdearborn). “There is no Sharia Law or ‘Sharia-compliant’ Law in Dearborn. We are proud of our diversity, our community, the State of Michigan our country. We invite you here to visit the real Dearborn!” Twitter. 11 Jul 2018.

The Iranian Hostage Crisis.” U.S. Department of State. Accessed 8 Apr 2019.

Thousands protest at former U.S. embassy in Iran.” Associated Press. 4 Nov 2013.

Woods, James (@RealJamesWoods). “#ICE should roll through this district with every available agent and deport every single #IllegalAlien. Every. Single. One.” Twitter. 12 Mar 2019.

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A meme claims an anti-America protest photo was taken in Michigan.
Monday, April 8, 2019