Fake burqa claim about Illinois Muslim drivers unveiled

Madeleine DoubekReboot Illinois

Apr 02, 2017

This column appears here as part of an exclusive partnership between Reboot Illinois and the Pulitzer Prize-winning website, PolitiFact. #FactCheckIt


We came across a headline and provocative photo on the truetrumpers.com website that suggested Illinois officials would permit Muslims to have photo IDs taken for driver’s licenses with their faces completely covered by burqas. We decided to check out the claim as part of International Fact-Checking Day.

“Muslims get their way–Illinois will permit wearing burqas in driving licenses photos,” the headline reads.

PolitiFact Illinois examined the origins of this claim as part of the inaugural International Fact-Checking Day, April 2, 2017. Organizers at Poynter.org describe the day as “not a single event but a rallying cry for more facts – and fact-checking – in politics, journalism, and everyday life.”

Dave Druker, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, whose office administers driver’s license testing and issues Illinois IDs, quickly dismissed the claim. “That is not the case and the face must be exposed,” he said.

In fact, Druker noted, it’s now standard procedure, whenever a resident seeks to renew their driver’s license, that their old license picture is scanned and run through facial recognition software in an attempt to determine they are who they say they are and that they are not wanted for any serious crimes or listed on any terrorism watch lists.

Muslims may cover the tops of their heads when their pictures are taken for state IDs, Druker said, but faces must be exposed. “The face has to be exposed,” he said. “You can have your head covered. The top of your head. The face must be exposed. An orthodox Jew could wear a skull cap. A nun could wear the habit, but the face must be exposed.”

Druker said he was asked about the same fake news claim from a site about a year ago.

This claim came from a website called TrueTrumpers.com that is not a credible news media site. It includes several posts that fuel fake claims about President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama and Muslims, in particular, as well as click-baiting claims about porn stars and secret tricks for weight loss and whiter teeth. Unlike some other fake news sites, this one does not include any disclaimer that its reports are not factual or satirical.

Clicking on many of the stories on this website will cause a pop-up window to open that suggests software is out of date on your computer while encouraging you to download and open a file that could contain malware.

Our ruling

A fake news website said Illinois was going to allow Muslims to obtain driver’s licenses with their faces covered. A spokesman for the office that issues state identification said the claim was false.

We rate this Pants on Fire.



Truetrumpers.com, “Muslims get their way–Illinois will permit wearing burqas in driving licenses photos,” March 29, 2017

Dave Druker, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, phone interview, March 29, 2017

CyberDriveIllinois.com, “Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL) For Undocumented (Non-Visa Status) Individuals,” March 31, 2017

Related: Decatur School Board still learning, 18 years later
Apr 07, 2017

Guest view This article originally appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and has been republished here with permission of the author.  He is the stone that the builders rejected. The Prodigal…

share to facebook share to twitter comment
Be the first to respond to this quote.
Add a Comment commt