The Real Reason Why Some Muslims Are Claiming They Don't Eat Donuts

July 13th 2017

Mike Rothschild

In response to constant Islamophobic attacks on mosques, Muslims on social media are spreading a strange and delicious rumor: that donuts are forbidden by Islam.

Like most Twitter-driven trends, an origin point for this one is hard to pin down. But the joke has circulated on social media several times, often after a hate crime where some bigot leaves forbidden ("haram") food outside a mosque, such as bacon. These attacks are extremely common in both North America and Europe, almost always involving pork, which is forbidden by Islam's dietary laws (as it is by Jewish dietary laws).

Some recent incidents include a man last year leaving raw bacon on the door handles of a  Las Vegas mosque; a woman jailed earlier this year for breaking windows and leaving bacon outside a mosque in San Jose; and a 2015 incident where a man dumped pig heads outside a mosque in Britain. 

While pork and its associated products are haram, donuts are definitely not. So Muslim Twitter users have jokingly declared them forbidden, hoping that bigots will take the bait and leave a box of bearclaws outside their mosque.

The rumor often starts up after these attacks, and most recently sprang up again in late June, apparently in response to a June 8 street attack by a masked British man who randomly slapped a Muslim teenager with bacon and called her "ISIS scum." 

The popularity of the tweets prompted coverage from the BBC and the Independent, but it's not the first time a joke about leaving donuts outside a mosque has taken off. 

A January 2016 repost of the joke by journalist Murtaza Hussain prompted threads on both Reddit and Facebook, with Muslims chiming in with all the other things they'd love left outside their local mosque by area bigots. 







Unfortunately, there are likely to be many more opportunities to revive the "donuts are forbidden in Islam" joke. Hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. rose dramatically in 2016, and attacks on Muslims have also increased in the United Kingdom, particularly in the wake of a recent spate of ISIS-inspired attacks.

Beyond that, threats and insults using pork or haram are common among anti-Islamic extremists, many of whom have taken it as far as believing that smearing bullets in pig fluids will actually deter terrorists. Even President Trump fell for this when he told a debunked anecdote about legendary U.S. general Jack Pershing ordering bullets to be dipped in pig blood and used against Filipino Muslims during the Moro Rebellion in the early 1900s. 

This isn't even the only Islamic donut hoax to go viral. In 2016, a spoof Facebook page called "Mordor First" pretended a donut with a fictional language from the Lord of the Rings books was a "Muslamic [sic]" donut being handed out in schools and sold at Starbucks. The fake news caught on enough that Snopes had to debunk it.



As of yet, there have been no reports of donuts being left outside mosques.