In light of media criticism over Donald Trump (does he still embrace birtherism?) not setting the record straight today when he was presented with the opportunity to do so, I will make the argument here at FA for the sake of the Party; and for the sake of the honest truth.
The fact of the matter is (and this isn’t my opinion, but grounded fact and reality) this: President Obama is not an open, practicing Muslim; nor is he a closet, stealth Muslim. He is a self-professed, self-identified Christian (although I don’t believe he’s particularly religious/devout)
As a progressive liberal, multiculturalist Democrat, if President Obama were Muslim, he’d be more than happy and willing to embrace that identity, much like Representatives Keith Ellison and André Carson. He’d not only be the first “black” (or biracial) U.S. President, but also have the glass-ceiling breaking distinction of being known as the first religiously Muslim U.S. president.
Even if President Obama were a Muslim, so what? Yes: SO WHAT?
There are a great many things President Obama deserves to be criticized over. The charge of being Muslim is not one of them. Conservatives who embrace this claim really should look long and hard at themselves in the mirror and make sure it isn’t a religious or racial bigot that is staring back at them. To embrace this insane conspiracy only helps President Obama. It doesn’t hurt him. It does hurt the conservative cause. Because it gives credence and credibility to the belief that conservatives are bigoted conspiratorial nutjobs whose hatred goes beyond the political.
Here are just some of the common “evidence” used to tout President Obama’s Muslim credentials:
President Obama’s biological father was a Muslim; but was a Muslim-turned-atheist. He did not grow up knowing his father, who abandoned him when he was a baby.
His stepfather Lolo Soetoro was a nominal Muslim, described as someone who “was much more of a free spirit than a devout Muslim, according to former friends and neighbors.”:
Soetoro, who died in 1987, was hardly the image of a pious Muslim, friends and family members say.
His nephew, Sonny Trisulo, 49, said Soetoro always liked women and alcohol. One of his health problems was a failing liver. “He loved drinking, was a smart and warm person, the naughtiest one in the family,” Trisulo recalled.
In his autobiography, Obama said Soetoro followed the same kind of Islam as many Indonesians, “a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths,” the kind of Islam that meant a man could absorb the powers of the animals he ate, such as tigers and snakes.
I have a friend who lives and works in Indonesia. He converted to Islam on account of his wife. He does not recognize any of the conservative stereotypes of what a Muslim is. Was completely unfamiliar with the term and concept “taqqiyah” (a Shia tradition, and wildly distorted by Islamophobes in how it is applied); and has a Christmas tree in his home every year.
In 1967, Barack Obama became “Barry Soetoro” when he and his mother moved to Jakarta. He was 6 years old. While there, he indeed studied at a religious school, praying up to 4 times a day: It was the Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School, from 1st through part of 3rd grade. He then spent the rest of 3rd and up through 4th grade at a public school- the Besuki School (not an Islamic madrassa), where he was exposed to Islam. That school was
so progressive that teachers wore miniskirts and all students were encouraged to celebrate Christmas.
Interviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia, despite being listed as a Muslim on the registration form for the Catholic school, Strada Asisia, where he attended 1st through 3rd grades.
At the time, the school most likely registered children based on the religion of their fathers, said Darmawan, Obama’s former teacher. Because Soetoro was a Muslim, Obama was listed as a Muslim, she said.
The enrollment form from the Catholic school, which has been cited as evidence that Obama was a Muslim in Indonesia, also was rife with errors. It listed Obama as an Indonesian, listed his previous school incorrectly and failed to list his mother, Ann, at all.
A recent description of the public Elementary School Menteng No. 1 and its students in this century is anything but that of a strict, fundamentalist Islamic madrassa:
The girls wore uniforms of knee-length skirts and no head scarves. Boys and girls shoved each other on the playground. Weekly religious classes are required for all students, whether Muslims, Christians or Hindus, under the government curriculum. A new shiny mosque is in the corner of the courtyard.
“The Muslims learn about Islam, prayer and religious activity,” said Hardi Priyono, the vice principal for curriculum. “And for the Christians, during the religious class, they also have a special room teaching Christianity. It’s always been like that. We are a public school. We have always been a public school.”
When Obama attended 4th grade in 1971, Muslim children spent two hours a week studying Islam, and Christian children spent those two hours learning about the Christian religion.
At holidays, the school made a practice of teaching students about different religions. Students from all religions celebrated Christmas with a Christmas tree and carols. They celebrated the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adhaby handing out a sacrificed goat to the neighborhood’s needy.
Photographs from the time show teachers in sleeveless dresses. The only woman who wore a head scarf was the Islamic religion teacher.
“I was really trendy, for example, no sleeves, and miniskirts,” recalled Tine Hahiyari, 78, a Protestant who was the school’s headmaster from 1972 to1989. “When I taught sports, I wore shorts.”
This was and still remains a public school, open to all faiths.
So, no: Barry Soetoro was not indoctrinated in radical Islamic theology as a young boy. Next.
2. In his book, “Audacity of Hope”, comes this popular gotcha: “I will stand with the MUSLIMS should the political winds shift in an ugly direction”
Aye Chihuahua #12 covered this well in a response to a commenter:
you need to understand and apply context to the comment in order to understand what BO was saying when he said it.
Here is the complete quote:
“[T]hey need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
Basically, the comment was made in the context of a post 9/11 America when sentiment in this country was very negative toward people from the Middle East in general, Muslims specifically.
Obama was making it clear that if things turned ugly, and there were murmurings of internment camps and such in late 2001, that he would stand with whoever was the target of the roundup, and rightly so.
Finally, even if Obama was speaking of defending Muslims from some renewed internment or oppression effort in this country, would that be the wrong thing to do? I think not. I would stand with him in that effort.
There is absolutely nothing objectionable in either what he said or what he meant by the statement.
This is an ugly Internet rumor that has been spread and allowed to grow for a long time. Unfortunately, there are very few sources which tell the accurate words of the quote and the context in which it was made.
As I’ve said to you several times already, there is a multitude of things, true and accurate things, which a person can use to criticize BO.
There is absolutely no reason, and no excuse, for twisting context or just plain making things up.
You know as well as anyone how I feel about BO but we must, without exception, hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to criticizing him lest we come off as a group of racist or bigoted tinfoil hat wearing wackos living on the far edges of the right wing.
Obama did not say he would side with “the Muslims,” which could easily be read as meaning he would side with the world’s Muslim population even if it meant working outside the best interests of the United States. He said he would side with “them,” referring back to his mention of immigrant communities and specifically to “Arab and Pakistani Americans.” Furthermore, he was speaking of an “ugly direction” like the mass internment of Japanese Americans.
For a world leader who is supposedly “siding with the Muslims”, he sure isn’t doing a great job of defending Muslims being slaughtered in Iraq and Syria. But he has perpetuated and expanded upon Drone strikes against Islamic terrorists- a program that began under President Bush. And he is credited with nailing OBL on his watch.
Expansion of ISIS and Islamic terror is not due to his aligning with them. It’s due to presidential incompetence.
3. President Obama cites from the Quran and invites Muslims to the White House.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam … [Islam’s] teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah …The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.
“The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.”
The President’s message includes brief quotes from the Koran, and refers to Islam as a religion that values charity, mercy and peace.
“Islam is peace. These terrorists don”t represent peace, they represent evil and war.”
These are just some of the pro-Islam statements made by our president. President Bush, who also has the distinction of having hosted the first iftar– traditional Ramadan dinner in the White House.
4. “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”
Essentially, this quote is cited as an example charging President Obama as a defender of Islam. Sure, okay. I can buy this reasoning. But his defense of Islam is not a defense of radical, political Islam; nor evidence of his “Muslim faith”. His defense, like that of his predecessor #43, is that of a world leader who seeks to marginalize the global jihad movement and not widen the war- something OBL and Zawahiri failed to do with most Muslims. And it is the kind of defense that is common and typical amongst the pc-laden, diversity-crowd/multiculturalist left.
5. President Obama’s Freudian slip: “My Muslim faith”
Here’s a fuller context:
I’d say his slip up is due to putting his frame-of-mind in the perspective of the McCain/conservative camp- the ones who perceived him to be a Muslim.
6. Obama’s one ring to rule them all! One ring to find them. One ring to bring them all; and in the darkness bind them!
As a student at Harvard Law School, then-bachelor Barack Obama’s practice of wearing a gold band on his wedding-ring finger puzzled his colleagues.
Now, newly published photographs of Obama from the 1980s show that the ring Obama wore on his wedding-ring finger as an unmarried student is the same ring Michelle Robinson put on his finger at the couple’s wedding ceremony in 1992.
Moreover, according to Arabic-language and Islamic experts, the ring Obama has been wearing for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no god except Allah.”
Jerome Corsi is a conspiracy nut.
Quick explanation: Snopes:
This claim about Barack Obama’s ring (shown in more detail here) looks to be an artifact of someone who has never actually seen the ring in question trying mightily to find a hidden message where none exists, however. All of the images used to illustrate the claim are either blurry, low-resolution close-ups or shots taken from too distant a perspective to clearly show the details of the gold band. Isolating the ring from a much higher-resolution photograph of President Obama’s hand taken by photographer Miguel Villagran during a 5 June 2009 news conference in Dresden, Germany, shows the ring to bear what looks like nothing more than a plain loop-like pattern, with the top section matching the bottom:
7. Obama bows to Saudi Prince
Yes, and Bush #43 kisses them.
The fact is, as embarrassed as many Americans might feel by the subservience of the act, it’s not exclusive to Saudi royalty:
Is there any evidence of President Obama facing Mecca on a prayer rug 5 times a day? We know he drinks beer. Is clean-shaven, eats bacon, loves music and dance, does occasionally attend church, drones radical Islamist terrorists, is a liberal/socialist-leaning Democrat, and currently champions gay marriage.
So how exactly is it that so many conservatives keep calling him a Muslim? And applies that label in a slanderous, bigoted manner?