Monday, March 3, 2008

Is Barak Obama a Muslim . . . or Not?

Is he or isn't he? Why is it so hard to determine the religious affiliation of a potential President of the U.S.?

In an interview with Jewish reporters on Monday January 21, 2008 Sen. Obama addressed the rumors aimed at his religious commitments. Obama was strong to attack a "constant and virulent smear campaign via the Internet that I know has been particularly targeted at the Jewish community . . . it states that I am a Muslim, that I was sworn into my Senate office with my hand on a Koran, that I don't pledge allegiance."

Obama normally does not respond to such "falsehoods" but these reports appear to have gotten traction in the right wing sector of the Jewish community.

Obama clarified his relationship to Islam on an ABC Sunday morning news show (March 2, 2008): "I have never practiced Islam. I was raised by my secular mother. I have been a member of the Christian religion and have been an active Christian. I was sworn in with my hand on my family Bible, and have been pledging allegiance since I was three years old." I have no reason to not take him at his word. I complain that he's a "fog of a man." Here's is trying to clear up the murkiness, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

But the emails and attacks against Obama continue. Last week a photo of Obama wearing Kenyan tribal raiments appeared on the Internet. The photo was taken during Obama's visit in 2006 to the country where his father was born. The photo implied, "Look, here's proof Obama is a Muslim." How childish!

In response to the photo Obama said last week to Jewish leaders in Cleveland, "If anyone is still puzzled about the facts, in fact I have never been a Muslim."

Where are the photos of Barak being sworn in with his hand on the Koran? I want some solid proof other than rumors via emails and blogs.

Where are photos of Barak worshipping in a mosque on his face prostrate to Allah? If he's a Muslim, he had to pray 5 times a day. Some journalistic photographer has got to catch this "Muslim" on his knees and snap a photo of this "closet Muslim" in action ? No?

Obama says he's a Christian. Though I have serious issues with Obama's liberal black nationalist Pastor Jeremiah Wright, I think Barak is telling the truth. However, I am not convinced he's an evangelical Christian.
Listen to Obama's words from a 2004 Chicago Sun Times article in which Cathleen Falsani interviewed the Senator: "So, I have a deep faith. I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people." Obama is more of a universalist than a true New Testament Christian. Obama is a "sort-of" and "barely" a Christian but he's not a Muslim.

What about the fact he lived in Indonesia for four years? "In an Associated Press article from 2/26/98, Obama explains again, "My grandfather, who was Kenyan, converted to Christianity, then converted to Islam. My father never practiced; he was basically agnostic. So, other than my name and the fact I lived in a populous Muslim country [Indonesia] for four years when I was a child, I have very little connection to the Islamic religion." I'll take him at his word. However, to say there's no Islamic influence on Obama from having lived in an Islamic country is naive. I lived in Vietnam for one year and came back to the States spouting off Buddhism. I'm a Christian today but I was touched by living among a Buddhist people-the south Vietnamese,

Some people accuse Obama of turning his back on the flag when the Pledge of Allegiance is stated. How in the world could a man run for U.S. President, attend dozens of political rallies where the Pledge is said, and have gotten away for this long spurning the U.S. flag and the pledge? How about another rumor? Barak Obama is really a reincarnation of Harry Houdini? I'm not even sure David Copperfield could pull off a stunt like that.

Finally, Obama is said to have attended a Muslim madrassa school as a child in Jakarta. After being born in Hawaii, he moved to Indonesia at the age of six to live with his mother and stepfather. From investigations it has been learned by the AP that the school he attended for six years before returning to Hawaii is a "public and secular institution and has been open to students of all faiths since before Obama attended in the late 1960s." The principal of the school admitted most students in the school are Muslim, but there are Christians as well.

The evidence that Barak Obama is a Muslim is weak, based on circumstantial evidence. I am more concerned with Obama's concession last week to begrudgingly denounce the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan. Barak only conceded after Hillary Clinton pressed the candidate. Does Obama know the seriousness of any connection with Minister Farrakhan, an avowed anti-Semite and a Caucasian hater?

Let's put the focus on the familiarity of Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright with Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan. Why would Obama continue to attend a church spearheaded by the pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ who feels the "Christian" conviction to give an award from the "Trumpet Newsmagazine, a Trinity church publication, to Louis Farrakhan for his "greatness."

If my pastor awarded a person who hated Jews and blacks, I would say my piece to that pastor and I'd be out the door. I'd never sit comfortably is a Christian church that embraces a hater of Jews and whites.

The Rev. Jerome Wright will be an albatross around the neck of Barak Obama. If Obama wins the presidency, do we want Wright giving the inaugural prayer . . . a man of the "Christian" cloth who awards a racist black Muslim? Shame on us all if we tolerate such Christian hypocrisy!

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