Monday, August 23, 2010

Now 1 in 5 Americans believe Obama is a Muslim

If you ever wonder why prejudice is such a rampant phenomenon, I can give you two reasons right off the bat. Firstly, it's because it's easier to make someone who is different the focus of all our negativities rather than focus on ourselves, or admit that the world is more complicated than we'd like to admit. And secondly, it's because prejudice seems immune to all manner of logic and common sense, and endures even when facts to the counter are clear for all to see.

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48% in 2009. Fully 43% say they do not know what Obama’s religion is. The survey was completed in early August, before Obama’s recent comments about the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center.

The view that Obama is a Muslim is more widespread among his political opponents than among his backers. Roughly a third of conservative Republicans (34%) say Obama is a Muslim, as do 30% of those who disapprove of Obama’s job performance. But even among many of his supporters and allies, less than half now say Obama is a Christian. Among Democrats, for instance, 46% say Obama is a Christian, down from 55% in March 2009.

The belief that Obama is a Muslim has increased most sharply among Republicans (up 14 points since 2009), especially conservative Republicans (up 16 points). But the number of independents who say Obama is a Muslim has also increased significantly (up eight points). There has been little change in the number of Democrats who say Obama is a Muslim, but fewer Democrats today say he is a Christian (down nine points since 2009).

When asked how they learned about Obama’s religion in an open-ended question, 60% of those who say Obama is a Muslim cite the media. Among specific media sources, television (at 16%) is mentioned most frequently. About one-in-ten (11%) of those who say Obama is a Muslim say they learned of this through Obama’s own words and behavior.

Beliefs about Obama’s religion are closely linked to political judgments about him. Those who say he is a Muslim overwhelmingly disapprove of his job performance, while a majority of those who think he is a Christian approve of the job Obama is doing. Those who are unsure about Obama’s religion are about evenly divided in their views of his performance.
(Original article here.)

Ok so let's say that the 1 in 5 figure is reasonably accurate. If we extrapolate that across the US population (subtracting young children from the equation), that's about 50 million people. That's hardly a bunch of loony extremists that don't matter. 50 million! That's about the population of England.

Even crazier is that around half of all Americans don't seem to know what religion Obama is.

Now, remember that Obama has repeatedly and publicly stated he is a Christian. He attended church for around 20 years with his family. These, obviously, are not things that Muslims tend to do.

If he was indeed a Muslim, surely someone from his high school, college or working years would have picked up on it. He has written two books about his life, yet not mentioned anything about being a Muslim. Upon swearing the oath of office, he used the Holy Bible.

So what evidence is there of his supposed Muslim-ness? Well... he has an Arabic middle name (Hussein). Of course, most Americans have Jewish names (David, Paul, John, etc), but that doesn't make them Jewish.

His father was a Muslim... but then, Barack barely knew his father, who left when his son was still very young. His stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was Muslim... but one who rarely attended prayers, and Obama only lived with him from when he was 6 until when he was 12. Obama spent those 6 years in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, where he went to school ... except Indonesia is no more a Muslim country than the USA can be said to be a Christian country, and the school Obama went to was a Catholic school.

What other "proof" is there of Obama's Muslim faith? Well, he supported the right of those guys to build the mosque near Ground Zero, right?

Well, technically he was just upholding the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion. Had he violated the constitution on this matter, would that make him a better President or a worse one?

Ok how about this: in an interview with the New York Times, he once described the Muslim call to prayer at sunset as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth". AND he can recall the words!

So the assumption here is that surely no Christian could objectively hear someone mellifluously singing in Arabic and think it was beautiful, could they? So basically, Obama is being judged for having the wrong taste in music. Him being able to recall the words to something he probably heard over a loudspeaker every day for 6 years as a child, is not so unusual. Unless of course if you are the kind of person who cannot fathom the idea of someone knowing a few words of another language and knowing a little about another religion that is not your own... which actually describes a lot of Americans.

Ok, what about the fact that Obama has held celebrations for Muslims at the White House for Ramadan? Oh wait, George W Bush did that too...

Or what about when he said this:
"Islam is a faith that brings comfort to people. It inspires them to lead lives based on honesty, and justice, and compassion."

Oh no wait, that wasn't Obama, that was George W Bush as well, on October 11, 2002.

George W Bush is one of the men dressed in Arabic robes in this picture. Remember him, the one with ties to the Saudi royal family? Maybe he's a Muslim too - there's certainly enough evidence to prove it, should you wish to believe that. Of course, no one is suggest this, because Bush's skin is not brown (brown skin is another tell-tale sign of being suspiciously Islamic).

Now, I can perfectly understand if people think Obama is not a good President, for whatever reason. That is the nature of politics, some people will not like you or what you stand for. But to believe he is a Muslim is something else entirely.

Essentially, to really believe Obama is a Muslim entails having to believe in a number of other assumptions.

You have to assume that he constantly lies about his religion. He is so good at lying about it that no one has ever actually seen him doing anything Muslim-y. He has even managed to keep his Islamic faith from his wife Michelle and his daughters. Or you could choose to assume that they are all Muslims too, or they are in on the whole conspiracy.

You have to assume that Obama managed to keep this secret from all his friends from childhood, college, work and politics. Because none of those people seems to have thought he was a Muslim.

You have to assume that even as a young teenager, Obama kept this secret from his white mother and grandparents, who he lived with in Hawaii. Because his mother separated from Lolo Soetoro around this time, there was no one who might possibly give him further Islamic instruction; yet somehow, he managed to retain this faith while keeping it secret from everyone around him.

You have to assume that Obama's baptism as a Christian, his 20 years attending church, and his raising of his daughters as Christians, are all part of an elaborate ruse.

You have to assume that to even be related to Muslims, or associate with them (Obama had some Pakistani friends in college) is a sure sign that you are a bit Muslim-y. Because if you are a good Christian you wouldn't associate with such people. (You'd probably drop bombs on them instead.)

In short, to believe Obama is actually a Muslim, you need to believe that not only is he a fiendishly evil Machiavellian character who is a compulsive liar, but also that he actually IS a "Manchurian Candidate" who has been hiding his "true" faith for years and years in order to ascend the ladder of power and turn the US into a Muslim nation. Or something like that.

You need to have an over-enthusiasm for espionage novels.

Essentially, you need to be a f***ing sh*thead with absolutely no sense of perspective. You need to be deranged enough to think that YOU, who have never met Obama, probably never even been outside the US or actually met a Muslim, YOU have been smart enough to see Obama's Islamic faith and agenda for what it really is. Whereas the thousands of people who have actually met the man and spent time around him are somehow too stupid to notice.

See also:

The Muslim-ness of Obama's family, and what it has to do with his presidency

More "Obama's not American" nonsense

Obama bows again. Conservatives are angry. Sensible people couldn't care less.


  1. "Essentially, you need to be a f***ing sh*thead with absolutely no sense of perspective."

    You've just described a large segment of the American population.

    The "Obama is a secret Muslim" movement is tied to the Tea Party Movement, or the so-called Birthers (ppl who believe he was not born in the US and is hiding his 'real' birth certificate). This movement, in turn, is a movement designed to undermine his presidency, by casting it as un-American and therefore illegitimate.

  2. He is muslin or no muslin, but the bottom-line is he is an American & i dont think anybody would have a doubt on that.

  3. @ Rick: actually, lots of Americans do doubt that he is an American. Which is sad.

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