Friday, June 13, 2008

Smear?

The Obama campaign has created a new website called "Fight the Smears" to combat what it calls "the false and divisive attacks of" its "opponents".

Among those alleged "smears" is the suggestion that Obama might have been a Muslim when he was a child .

Here's some of what we know about Obama's childhood years:

As a child in Indonesia, Obama was registered as a Muslim at Jakarta's Roman Catholic Franciscus Assisi Primary School under the name Barry Soetoro. Catholic schools in Indonesia routinely accept non-Catholic students, but exempt them from studying religion.

The school required that each student choose one of five state-sanctioned religions when registering – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic or Protestant.

Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said he wasn't sure why the document had Obama listed as a Muslim.

The Chicago Tribune quotes Obama's former teacher, "Darmawan" as saying that at the time, the school most likely registered children based on the religion of their fathers.

Because Soetoro was a Muslim, Obama was listed as a Muslim, she said.The Tribune also notes that 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.

The Tribune seems to suggest that it was the school which chose to register Obama as a Muslim and not his parents

However, it would seem more plausible that Obama's step father registered Barack as a Muslim and an Indonesian citizen, since he himself was both Muslim and Indonesian. [I'll assume that Barack Obama never held any other citizenship other than his US citizenship.]

After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama was enrolled – also as a Muslim – in the Besuki Primary School, a public school in Jakarta.

In Obama's autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," he acknowledges studying the Quran and describes the school as "a Muslim school."

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

Speaking to the country's Kaltim Post, Tine Hahiyary, who was principal of Obama's school while he was enrolled there, said she recalls he studied the Quran in Arabic.

"At that time, I was not Barry's teacher but he is still in my memory" claimed Tine, who is 80 years old.

"I remember that he studied 'mengaji (recitation of the Quran)," Tine said

Mengaji, or the act of reading the Quran with its correct Arabic punctuation, is usually taught to more religious pupils and is not known as a secular study.

The Indonesian daily Banjarmasin Post caught up with Rony Amir, an Obama classmate and Muslim, who describe Obama as "previously quite religious in Islam."

"We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house. If he was wearing a sarong (waist fabric worn for religious or casual occasions) he looked funny," Amir said.

The Los Angeles Times, which sent a reporter to Jakarta, quoted Zulfin Adi, who identified himself as among Obama's closest childhood friends, stating the presidential candidate prayed in a mosque - something Obama's campaign claimed he never did.

"We prayed," Adi said, "but not really seriously, just following actions done by older people in the mosque. But as kids, we loved to meet our friends and went to the mosque together and played.

Obama's official campaign site has a page titled "Obama has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." The page states, "Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim...."

But the campaign changed its tune when it issued a slightly different statement to the Times stating Obama "has never been a practicing Muslim."

An article last month by the Chicago Tribune seems to dispute Adi's statements to the L.A. Times. The Tribune catches up with Obama's declared childhood friend, who now describes himself as only knowing Obama for a few months in 1970 when his family moved to the neighborhood. Adi said he was unsure about his recollections of Obama. But the Tribune found Obama did attend mosque.

It quotes the presidential candidate's former neighbors and 3rd grade teacher recalling Obama "occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers."

In an interview with the New York Times, Obama described the Muslim call to prayer as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

The Times' Nicholos Kristof wrote Obama recited, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent," the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer.

Source Worldnet Daily

The Los Angeles Times quotes the Obama campaign as saying: "Obama has never been a practicing Muslim." The statement added that as a child, Obama had spent time in the neighborhood's Islamic center.

Was Obama a Muslim at some point in his life? I don't know. And I'm not sure we'll ever know the answer to that. But based on the scant information that is availabe to us, it seems fair to speculate that Obama might have been a Muslim at some point in his life. And anyone who labels this as "Smearing" is in essence, the ultimate "Smearer" himself.

2 comments:

Matericia said...

Barack Obama on his Religion
"I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn't 'fall out in church' as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn't want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.

There is one thing that I want to mention that I think is important. Part of what we've been seeing during the course this campaign is some scurrilous e-mails that have been sent out, denying my faith, talking about me being a Muslim, suggesting that I got sworn in the U.S. Senate with a Quran in my hand or that I don't pledge allegiance to the flag. I think it's really important for your readers to know that I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam. I am respectful of the religion, but it's not my own. One of the things that's very important in this day and age is that we don't use religion as a political tool and certainly that we don't lie about religion as a way to score political points. I just thought it was important to get that in there to dispel rumors that have been over the Internet. We've done so repeatedly, but obviously it's a political tactic of somebody to try to provide this misinformation." Barack Obama

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Senator Obama is NOT a Dirty Muslim!


"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge," says Mr. Obama, while denouncing statements of him being a Muslim as a smear. Why is the presidential candidate who claims to be religiously inclusive is treating the word "Muslim" as an insult? Apparently, it is OK for Mr. Obama to be associated with terrorists like William Ayers or racists like Jeremiah Wright, but God forbid somebody would call him a Muslim! No, he won't stand for that kind of smear! We admit that most terrorists are Muslims, but most Muslims are not terrorists and the statement on Mr. Obama's website is insulting to hundreds of millions of people.

How could a man who discards his family heritage in favor of political expediency be even considered for presidency of the United States? Where are all the so-called "Islamic civil rights groups" like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, MAS, etc. who are quick to defend every Islamic terrorist, but are silent when Muslims in general are being denigrated? Would Mr. Obama have the same reaction if someone claimed that he was raised as a Jew? We sincerely doubt that.

Muslims Against Sharia demand immediate removal of "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim" statement from the official Barack Obama's website as well as an apology for giving the word "Muslim" a negative connotation.

http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/06/senator-obama-is-not-dirty-muslim.html