Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why do people think Obama is a Muslim?

I was quoted in a story today in the Lexington Herald-Leader on why so many people still think Obama is a Muslim.  My comment was simply that his name is "Barack Hussein Obama" for crying out loud.  If don't know that he's not a Muslim, that alone would give you the general impression that he was.

But Larry Forgy's remark was the best:
I know he's not a practicing Muslim but, to me, his preacher, Jeremiah Wright, sounds more like Malcolm X than Billy Graham.
Ouch.

7 comments:

Susan Weston said...

The simplest remedy is for Obama's brothers and sisters in Christ to hail him as a fellow Christian, consistently and publicly.

It might not be good for the Republican party, but I didn't think politics mattered more than faith to you, brother Martin.

Anonymous said...

That's precisely why we need fewer voters, not more. Anyone going to the polls and knowing so little about the candidates after a year of campaigning shouldn't be allowed to vote. And note that MC says "why so many people STILL think Obama is a Muslim" [emphasis mine].
But that is part of a general anti-education trend in this country; a smaller percentage of students are completing high school today than in the past (some recent news report). It's the same attitude that has made "elite" a pejorative description.
And why should anyone be surprised by such a poll? How many people thought and how many still think that Hussein of Iraq was involved in the events of 9/11?

jah

Anonymous said...

In the quoted article, Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson attributes the error to Obama not telling Republicans of his religious affiliation.

On the other hand, perhaps these Republicans get their information from such sources as Pastor Grant Swank, writing for, among others, RenewAmerica.


http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/swank

jah

Anonymous said...

I found the article on obama written by Reuven Koret

Is Barack Obama a Muslim wolf in Christian wool?
By Reuven Koret March 27, 2008

"in 1971, Obama enrolled in the Besuki Primary School, a government school, as Barry Soetoro, Muslim. In third grade, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want To Be a President.' His third grade teacher: Fermina Katarina Sinaga "asked her class to write an essay titled 'My dream: What I want to be in the future.' Senator Obama wrote 'I want to be a President,' she said." [The Los Angeles Times, 3/15/07]

All Indonesian students are required to study religion at school and a young Barry Soetoro, being a Muslim, would have been required to study Islam daily in school.

He would have been taught to read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.

In his autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," Obama mentions studying the Koran and describes the public school as "a Muslim school."

"In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Koranic studies."

According to Tine Hahiyary, one of Obama's teachers and the principal from 1971 through 1989, Barry actively took part in the Islamic religious lessons during his time at the school. "I remembered that he had studied "mengaji" (recitation of the Quran)" Tine said.

The author of the Laotze blog writes from Jakarta: "The actual usage of the word 'mengaji' in Indonesian and Malaysian societies means the study of learning to recite the Quran in the Arabic language rather than the native tongue. "Mengagi" is a word and a term that is accorded the highest value and status in the mindset of fundamentalist societies here in Southeast Asia. To put it quite simply, 'mengaji classes' are not something that a non practicing or so-called moderate Muslim family would ever send their child to. To put this in a Christian context, this is something above and beyond simply enrolling your child in Sunday school classes."

"The fact that Obama had attended mengaji classes is well known in Indonesia and has left many there wondering just when Obama is going to come out of the closet."

"As I've stated before, the evidence seems to quite clearly show that both Ann Dunham and her husband Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo were in fact devout Muslims themselves and they raised their son as such."

The Obama Campaign told the LA Times he wasn't a "practicing Muslim." (3/14/2007). But his official website says: "Obama Has Never Been A Muslim, And Is a Committed Christian" (11/12/2007)

That's not what his friends and classmates have said. Classmate Rony Amiris describes young Barry as enjoying playing football and marbles and of being a very devout Muslim. Amir said, "Barry was previously quite religious in Islam. We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house. If he was wearing a sarong, he looked funny," said Rony.

Amiris, now the manager of Bank Mandiri, Jakarta, recently said, "Barry was previously quite religious in Islam. His birth father, Barack Hussein Obama was a Muslim economist from Kenya. Before marrying Ann Dunham, Hussein Obama was married to a woman from Kenya who had seven children. All the relatives of Barry's father were very devout Muslims"

Emirsyah Satar, CEO of Garuda Indonesia, was quoted as saying, "He (Obama) was often in the prayer room wearing a 'sarong', at that time."

"He was quite religious in Islam but only after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion."
So Obama, according to his classmates and friends was a Muslim until the confluence of love and ambition caused him to adopt the cloak of Christianity: to marry Michelle and to run for President of the United States.

In "Dreams," Obama sheds light on his formative years and the political views of his mother, an anthropologist and Islamophile who hated America and subsequently "went native." (It was her mother -- Barry's "other" grandmother who cared for him in his druggie teenage years -- that he would describe as a "typical white person" who was, he said scoldingly, fearful of black men and prone to making stereotypical racial remarks.)

Obama Senior also had three sons by another woman who are all Muslim. Although Obama claims Senior was an atheist, Senior was buried as a Muslim.

Barack Obama's brother Roy opted for Islam over Christianity, as the Senator recounted in his book when describing his 1992 wedding. "The person who made me proudest of all," Obama wrote, "was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol."Abongo "argues that the black man must "liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture." He urged his younger brother to embrace his African heritage.

In Kenya while he was a Senator, Obama stumped for his cousin, opposition leader Raila Odinga, the son of Senior's sister, a direct first cousin and nephew of Obama's father.
On August 29, 2007, Raila Odinga and Shiekh Abdullah Abdi, chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which it pledges the support of Kenyan Moslems for Raila's election. In return, as President of Kenya, Raila agrees ... within 6 months re-write the Constitution of Kenya to recognize Shariah as the only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared regions [and] within one year to facilitate the establishment of a Shariah court in every Kenyan divisional headquarters -- everywhere in Kenya, not just in "Muslim declared regions" -- and to popularize Islam, the only true religion ... by ordering every primary school in Kenya in the regions to conduct daily Madrassa classes.

In an interview with the New York Times, published on April 30th, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's younger half sister, told the Times, "My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim."

Obama describes his new found "Christian" faith as: (1) Suspicious of dogma (2) Without any monopoly on the truth (3) Nontransferable to others (4) Infused with a big healthy dose of doubt, and (5) Indulgent of and compatible with all other religions.

On February 27th, speaking to Kristof of The New York Times, Barack Hussein Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."

In an interview with Nicholas Kristof, published in The New York Times, Obama recited the Muslim call to prayer, the Adhan, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent."
The opening lines of the Adhan (Azaan) is the Shahada:

"Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet...."

According to Islamic scholars, reciting the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, makes one a Muslim. This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim's complete acceptance of, and total commitment to, the message of Islam. Obama chanted it with pride and finesse.

An American Expat in Southeast Asia blog, written by an American who has lived in Indonesia for 20 years and has met with both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, contains the following:

"Barack Hussein Obama might have convinced some Americans that he is no longer a Muslim, but so far he has not convinced many in the world's most populous Muslim country who still see him as a Muslim and a crusader for Islam and world peace."

"Barack Hussein Obama's race, his staunch opposition to the war in Iraq, his sympathy to Islam and Muslims worldwide and his Muslim heritage receive the Indonesian media coverage. There is no mention of his apostasy."

"A good example of how some of the Indonesian media is reporting on Obama's religion can be found in the following."

"What I found interesting in the article was the use of the word 'mengaku' when refering to Obama's conversion from Islam to Christianity. The word 'mengaku' in Indonesian means "claimed" and as such leaves the insinuation to the native Indonesian reader being that Obama might actually still be a Muslim.

But this is how Indonesians see Obama, they don't see him as an apostate at all, they see him as a crusader for the cause of Islam."

Obama wants it both ways, has always wanted it both ways. Black and white, Indonesian and American, Muslim and Christian. He loves playing one off the other, using one to hide the other even as the traces of the truth may be assembled to reveal the whole cloth of deception and self-promotion he has been weaving so skillfully since his childhood. No wonder he is a man of change. He IS a changeling, a veritable chameleon, adapting and amending his life story to fit the circumstances.

The charm may have worked once. It still works on some. It won't work forever in the age of the Internet. The fog of ambiguity and dissimulation is dissipated by the harsh, unforgiving and scrutiny of the blogosphere and its unlimited access to historical facts and time-stamped testimony. "

Lee said...

He's a UCC guy. Go check out their web page. It's about as close to theology-free as a nominally Christian church can possibly be, and I think I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Christianity without theology is simply modern liberalism. I see it ultimately as self-defeating. If theology is not important, neither are churches, since it is only by the authority of scripture that churches command any respect. So why exactly then do we need to pay heed to a liberal church?

Martin Cothran said...

Susan,

The simplest remedy is for Obama's brothers and sisters in Christ to hail him as a fellow Christian, consistently and publicly.

It might not be good for the Republican party, but I didn't think politics mattered more than faith to you, brother Martin.


That would certainly be an attractive political act. As to his Christianity, that involves whether he believes in the teachings of the apostles. That means more than just saying "I am a Christian." I don't claim to know anything about Obama's religious beliefs other than that he makes that claim--as does everyone who runs for president.

I don't know anything more about his beliefs than those of John McCain--neither of whom do I know enough about to declare them to be Christians.

If you know of Obama's specific beliefs in regard to the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the deity of Christ and the atoning power of his death, and his coming at the Last Day, you're welcome to present them here.

I might even be convinced.

Martin Cothran said...

Jah,

Maybe we could have literacy tests too.