Friday, June 13, 2008


The American definition of a Muslim is, "a person who chooses to follow Islam."

In America, we have freedom of religion, so the element of personal choice is crucial to the definition of who is and is not a Muslim.

The Islamic definition of a Muslim is, "a person who is born of a Muslim father." In Islam, there is no freedom of religion. A person who is a Muslim who chooses not to be a Muslim anymore is deemed an apostate and is subject to death.

Barack Obama was born of a Muslim father. Therefore, according to Islam, he is a Muslim. According to American values, he is what he says he is; a Christian.

From Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch:

Barack Obama's new Fight the Smears website says flatly: "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

This, of course, is nothing new: it is just what his campaign has been saying for quite some time. And that's why the mounting evidence that he was indeed known as a Muslim in his youth in Indonesia matters -- not because of some paranoid fantasy that Obama is a Manchurian candidate, a secret Muslim who will tell Americans on January 20, 2009, "Surprise! I'm imposing Sharia!" (I have never credited any of that nonsense) -- but because it raises questions about his honesty.

If he was registered as a Muslim in school and wEnt to Qur'an class (which he refers to doing in one of his books), why not admit that he was at least nominally a Muslim as a child? His conversion to Christianity, and his now-notorious church, are well known. Perhaps he has calculated that admitting this would cost him more in political capital than he is able or willing to pay, but -- so does, or so should, his lack of honesty about this matter.

Daniel Pipes has gathered together the evidence for this as it stands now. Here is some of it:

The Catholic school: Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press reports that "documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim" while at a Catholic school during first through third grades. Kim Barker of the Chicago Tribune confirms that Obama was "listed as a Muslim on the registration form for the Catholic school."

A blogger who goes by "An American Expat in Southeast Asia" found that "Barack Hussein Obama was registered under the name ‘Barry Soetoro' serial number 203
and entered the Franciscan Asisi Primary School on 1 January 1968 and sat in class 1B. … Barry's religion was listed as Islam."

The public school: Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times learned from Indonesians familiar with Obama when he lived in Jakarta that he "was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended." Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star visited the Jakarta public school Obama attended and found that "Three of his teachers have said he was enrolled as a Muslim." Although Siddiqui cautions that "With the school records missing, eaten by bugs, one has to rely on people's shifting memories," he cites only one retired teacher, Tine Hahiyari, retracting her earlier certainty about Obama's being registered as a Muslim.

Koran class: In his autobiography, Dreams of My Father, Obama relates how he got into trouble for making faces during Koranic studies, thereby revealing he was a Muslim, for Indonesian students in his day attended religious classes according to their faith. Indeed, Obama still retains knowledge from that class: Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times, reports that Obama "recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them [to Kristof] with a first-rate accent."

Pipes has more, with links, at his site.

Melanie Phillips has been looking into all this as well, and she succinctly explains its importance:

As I have already said -- but let me repeat very slowly for those suffering from Princess Obama Derangement Syndrome – the concerns about Obama’s Muslim antecedents arise from the fact that a) he has tried to conceal them and b) that he has a puzzling number of indirect connections with radical Islamists or their supporters.

1) He has gone out of his way to support in Kenya Raila Odinga, head of the Luo tribe, who promised to introduce sharia law if elected. Obama interrupted his New Hampshire campaign to speak by phone with Odinga. As the Investor’s Business Daily has reported, his half-brother Abongo ‘Roy’ Obama is a Luo activist in Kenya and a militant Muslim who argues that the black man must ‘liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture’ and urges Barack to embrace his African Muslim heritage.

Phillips has mucg more on this; note also that Pamela has been doing yeoman work on investigating Obama's Kenyan connections, and has a great deal of information.

Again: if Obama had simply acknowledged that he was known as a Muslim as a child in Indonesia, and had left Islam later, none of this (besides the ties to the Islamic supremacists in Kenya) would be of any concern. But he has made it a matter of concern by denying what has been affirmed by so many others.

Related: Malik Obama: My Brother Will Be Good for the Jews, Despite His Muslim Background


Matericia said...

"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

Anonymous 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.


Matericia said...

Yes, he would say the same if people were saying he was a jew because he's not a jew, either. He's trying to tell the truth.

Complain to the McCain camp if giving muslims a bad name makes you mad. He's all over the place ith his 'islamo-fascisism vs. capitalist christians.

He's the one who wants division. Obama can bring unity and peace if people don't believe things that are not true. He wants to give a clear picture of who he really is and how he came to be the man he is today.

Anonymous said...

Why would you post your comments on "THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS" if you are too dumb to understand the difference between Muslims and Islamofascists?

"Yes, he would say the same if people were saying he was a jew because he's not a jew, either. He's trying to tell the truth."

What a crock! No way in hell would Obama use the phrase "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Jew." And if you believe he would, you must be even dumber than you look.

Matericia said...

Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, said the majority opinion among Islamic jurists is that the law of apostasy can apply only to individuals who knowingly decide to be Muslims and later renege. One school of thought, he said, is that an individual must be at least a teenager to make the choice. Obama’s campaign told The Los Angeles Times last year that he “has never been a practicing Muslim.” As a young adult, he chose to be baptized as a Christian.

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, a professor of law at Emory University, said that Sharia, or Islamic law, including the law of apostasy, does not apply to an American or anyone outside the Muslim world. Of the more than 40 countries where Muslims are the majority, he said, Sharia is the official legal system only in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and even there apostasy is unevenly prosecuted, and apostates often wind up in prison, not executed.

Several of the scholars agreed that, in classical Sharia, apostasy is a capital crime, but they said that Islamic thinking is evolving. Mahmoud Ayoub, a professor of Islamic studies and comparative religion at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., said, “Whether (apostasy) is punishable by death or not, there are different opinions.”

Last year, Egypt’s highest Islamic cleric, Sheik Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti, spoke out against killing apostates. He said punishment for those abandoning the religion would come in the afterlife.

All the scholars argued that Luttwak had a rigid, simplistic view of Islam that failed to take into account its many strains and the subtleties of its religious law, which is separate from the secular laws in almost all Islamic nations. The Islamic press and television have reported extensively on the United States presidential election, they said, and Obama’s Muslim roots and his Christian religion are well known, yet there have been no suggestions in the Islamic world that he is an apostate.

Luttwak said the scholars with whom I spoke were guilty of “gross misrepresentation” of Islam, which he said they portrayed as “a tolerant religion of peace;” he called it “intolerant.” He said he was not out to attack Obama and regretted that, in the editing, a paragraph saying that an Obama presidency could be “beneficial” was cut for space.