Amy Lange, Fox 2 Detroit, February 1, 2017
The leader of a mosque in Dearborn has confirmed to FOX 2 that a man who claimed his mother died in Iraq after being barred from returning to the United States under a ban instituted by President Trump this weekend, lied to FOX 2 about when her death occurred.
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 the travel ban was put in place. The Imam confirms that Hager’s mother died before the executive order was signed.
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.
After the story aired on FOX 2 and was posted on FOX2Detroit.com, we received many questions about the validity of Hager’s claims. FOX 2 has confirmed that his mother died five days earlier – on January 22, 2017.
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 the Monday, January 22, 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.”
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.