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Headline about Muslims on Front-Page Africa, New Republic Newspaper, fabricated

Claim: On Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, the Front Page Africa and New Republic Newspaper had “No Space For Muslims” and “No Muslims Working In My Government” as headline stories attributed to  Amb—Joseph Boakai of the main opposition party.

Headline about Muslims on Front-Page Africa, New Republic Newspaper, fabricated

Verdict: According to the managing editors of both papers, Lennart Dodoo and Alphonso Toweh, Front-Page Africa and New Republic Newspapers did not publish “No Space For Muslims” and “No Muslim Working In My Government” respectively as banner headlines in their Oct. 23, 2023 editions.

Full Text

After a close election that did not produce a first-round winner as required by law, a run-off has been scheduled between two parties, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the main opposition Unity Party (UP).

Both parties are seeking the endorsement of the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), which has predominantly Muslims as their support base. It was, therefore, surprising to read some controversial headlines purported to have been published by two newspapers- Front Page Africa and the New Republic Newspapers.

On the morning of Oct. 23, Liberians, especially journalists, began receiving messages via WhatsApp soft copies of the print edition of both Front Page Africa newspaper and the New Republic newspaper with the captions “No Space For Muslims” and “No Muslims Working In My Government” respectively as seen below:

Headline about Muslims on Front-Page Africa, New Republic Newspaper, fabricated

These two papers’ banner headlines became a point of discussion within every media chatroom in the country and even on social media (Facebook) with mixed reactions as seen here and here.

The two newspapers, which are very popular in Liberia, have banner headlines attributed to the opposition leader of the Unity Party Joseph Boakai. The comments in the headline have dire religious implications. As a result, DUBAWA decided to investigate if the two newspapers published what was attributed to them.

Verification

To begin with, the researcher visited the official websites of the two newspapers, Front-Page Africa newspaper, and the New Republic newspaper, but did not find any of those stories there.

The researcher then contacted the managing editors of both entities for more clarity. Mr Dodoo, the managing editor of the Front Page Africa newspaper, termed the alleged action as fake news and shared Monday’s edition of the paper with the researcher as seen below  

Headline about Muslims on Front-Page Africa, New Republic Newspaper, fabricated

Front-Page Africa newspaper also issued an official disclaimer on its Facebook page, distancing itself from the story circulating on social media.

For his part, the publisher of the New Republic newspaper, Mr Toweh, said that the headline is not by the paper, referring to the viral WhatsApp message as fake news.

“It has come to the attention of the Management of The  New Republic Newspaper that some criminals have designed using the logo to achieve their personal desires. This design has the following cover page: “No MUSLIM  WORKING IN MY GOVERNMENT” is not by the paper. This was not done in my paper. Meanwhile, an investigation is being conducted,” the New Republic newspaper management said and shared a copy of today’s edition of the paper as seen below.

Headline about Muslims on Front-Page Africa, New Republic Newspaper, fabricated

Conclusion

Following all of the inquiries and investigations about the papers, it is evident that the two papers did not publish any headlines regarding Muslims.

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