President Obama Adds Islamic Symbols to White House Fence-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
It’s been rumored that changes to the White House fence have brought new, subtle symbols that resemble the domes of a Muslim mosque were made at President Obama’s request
President Obama didn’t add Islamic symbols to the White House fence.
Those rumors started on right-wing blog sites in response to reports that changes to the White House fence had been approved.
One site, US Herald, reported that Obama had orderd that Muslim symbols be added in a story that appeared under the headline, “Obama Does THIS to the White House Fence When No One Was Looking — Americans Want it Down ASAP.”
The story includes these side-by-side images of the fence’s artwork and a mosque:
There’s one big problem with that claim, however. Those so-called Muslim symbols have been included in the wrought iron design of the White House face for more than a century. This photo, archived by the Library of Congress, shows protestors for the women’s suffrage movement picketing in front of those “Islamic” wrought iron design elements in August 1917:
In reality, changes to the White House fence were proposed by the National Park Service in 2016 to increase security after a number of intruders scaled it. That proposal, which was approved by the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts in June, would extend the height of the fence to about 11 feet, Fox News reports:
WASHINGTON – A plan to increase the overall height of the fence surrounding the White House by approximately 6 feet, about doubling its current height, won preliminary approval from a Washington arts commission Thursday.
The move follows high-profile security breaches at the executive mansion over the past two years. The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts gave its concept approval Thursday to the new design, which also includes thicker and stronger metal fence pickets. The new design still must be reviewed by a second commission, the National Capital Planning Commission. The final design also must win approval from both commissions.
Secret Service and National Park Service officials said in a statement that they hope to begin constructing the new fence by 2018.
Although the taller fence won’t be installed until 2018, more subtle security enhancements were made in June 2015. Small metal spikes were added to the top of the fence. A photo of a worker installing the spikes with a drill has often been used to support claims that Islamic symbols had just been added.
But the worker was actually added the spikes that can be seen here:
So, claims that President Obama secretly ordered Islamic symbols to be included in the White House fence are false.