Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Personal Asides: After All the Protesting, the Obama Muslim Story Insofar as We Can Know It.


The “Washington Examiner,” a new daily in D. C. which, along with the “Washington Times” is breaking the almost monopolistic stranglehold of the liberal “Washington Post” on the printed news, has as complete a background on Barack Hussein Obama’s Muslim orientation as can be told without the wholehearted cooperation of the Obama office or the slavishly sycophantic pro-Obama press corps. The “Examiner” has a story by Bill Sammon (formerly of the “Times”) which relies on his reading of Obama memoirs, statements from the Senator’s office and some logical deductions. Obama’s office was so tight-lipped during the foray, so unforthcoming, so reliant on CNN that it led to suspicions of seeking to rely on deniability.

First, as his first autobiography had said, Obama’s office has confirmed that the school he went to in Indonesia was Muslim and did teach the Koran to him when he was nine and ten. Obama’s book, “Dreams from My Father” had the cute little observation that the teacher complained to his mother that he made faces during Koranic studies—from which we are supposed to deduce, I guess, that he was unsympathetic.

Second, the office says it was not a madrassa or radical Islamic school. Wonderful; if they had done so originally, it would have been much easier.

Third, his father, stepfather, brother and grandfather were Muslims. His own first name, Barack, means “Blessed” in Arabic.

Fourth, in his second memoir, “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama says when his father met his mother he was a confirmed atheist.

Fifth, it is noteworthy that a statement issued by Obama’s office last week listed his father as an atheist but made no mention of his Muslim upbringing.

Sixth, when his father, a black Kenyan named Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. died in 1982 “the family wanted a Muslim burial,” Obama quoted his brother Roy as saying in “Dreams.”

Seventh, Sammon quotes civil rights author Juan Williams of National Public Radio as saying, “He comes from a father who was a Muslim. I mean, I think that given we’re at war with Muslim extremists, that presents a problem.”

Eighth, Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama for whom it is said the Senator was given his middle name, Hussein, was “fiercely devoted to Islam” according to the book “Dreams.” His grandmother was quoted as telling him “What your grandfather respected was strength. Discipline. This is also why he rejected the Christian religion, I think. For a brief time he converted, and even changed his name to Johnson. But he could not understand such ideas as mercy towards your enemies, or that this man Jesus could wash away a man’s sins. To your grandfather, this was a foolish sentiment, something to comfort women. And so he converted to Islam—he thought its practices conformed more closely to his beliefs.”

Ninth, when Obama was 2 his parents divorced and his father moved away from the family’s home in Hawaii. Four years later his mother married an Indonesian man, Lolo Soetoro, a practicing Muslim and they moved to Jakarta. During that time, Obama says in his memoir, he was first sent to a neighborhood Catholic school and “then to a predominately Muslim school. In the household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita [a book sacred to Hindus] sat on the shelf…Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate. One day soon, he promised, he would a piece of tiger meat for us to share. It was to Lolo that I turned to for guidance and instruction. He introduced me as his son.”

Tenth, Obama was not raised a Muslim, the Senator’s office said. Nor as a Christian by his mother, a white American named Ann Dunham who according to Sammon was “deeply skeptical of religion.” NOTE: To my knowledge there has not been a photo released of his mother nor has there been information disseminated as to where she’s living. “Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones,” Obama wrote. “For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.” As a result, he wrote, “I was not raised in a religious household.”

Eleventh, later in life Obama says he was influenced by the writings of a famous U. S. Muslim, the spokesman for the militant Nation of Islam, Malcolm X: “Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different,” Obama wrote. “His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me, the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will…Malcolm’s discovery toward the end of his life that some whites might live beside him as brothers in Islam, seemed to offer some hope of eventual reconciliation.”

Twelfth, while working as a community organizer for a group of churches in Chicago, Obama says he was frequently invited to join Christian congregations but declined: “I remained a reluctant skeptic, doubtful of my own motives, wary of expedient conversion, having too many quarrels with God to accept a salvation too easily won.

Thirteenth, he was eventually baptized at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago: “It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.

Fourteenth, Obama’s family connections to Islam would continue; his brother Roy chose to be a Muslim over Christianity. Writing of him, Obama says, “The person who made me proudest of all was Roy. Actually , now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam and h as sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”

Fifteenth, Obama is sharply critical of what he calls “the religious absolutism of the Christian right.” The Democratic party has “a core segment of our constituency [that] remains stubbornly secular in orientation and fears—rightly no doubt—that the agenda of an assertively Christian nation may not make room for them or their life choices.”

Sixteenth, he does not believe any one religion should define the United States. “We are no longer just a Christian nation,” he wrote in “Audacity.” “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation and a nation of unbelievers.”

That’s about as definitive a statement of his religious views as can be found. How much easier it would have been if Obama’s office had provided such a compilation rather than remaining silent while such authorities as CNN attempted to respond. Nor is it racism or particular-ism that centers on Obama. Just as John Kennedy’s religious beliefs depended on his going before the Houston ministers, George Romney’s Mormon faith necessitated his delineation of religious views as it is now required for his son.


  1. I wonder what you Dem's would do if you found out a GOP Senator who came out of nowhere and was being talked up by the media as Presidential timber had the middle name of Hitler? And then you found that his Father (Hitler was his name as well) had been a believer in Nazi propaganda and his brother then became a Nazi. Do you think the Democrats, let alone the media would just pass it up because CNN said that the Nazi school he attended had some Jews there as well? The guys middle name is Hussein. You really don't think it was a coincidence that nobody knew it do you? We are at war with Muslim extremists aren't we? Why is this out of line to ask about and look into? Obama has purposely omitted some facts about his family. When I was a kid my mother always said omission was lying by a different name.
    (I think we know what the Dem's would do if you look at Arnold in Calf.We hear about it every election, and to me a Republican it is relevant, but he can't be President)

  2. So-Called "Austin Mayor"January 30, 2007 at 3:25 PM

    "You really don't think it was a coincidence that nobody knew it do you? *** Obama has purposely omitted some facts about his family."

    Actually, it was in his first book.

    So that is what MY mother called a bald-faced lie.

  3. I think we know exactly how the American Public would respond to a candidate who's father was a supporter of the Nazis. They elected George H.W. Bush didn't they. President Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush's company's assets were seized by the U.S. Government under the Trading With The Enemy Act. The argument has been made that Prescott Bush no fan of Hitler, and just continued doing business with the Nazi's while holding his nose and counting his money.

  4. Alias
    I believe you mean the Kennedy's don't you?
    Obama's first book is a perfect example of the lies of omission. He says "Although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist.”
    This is from his second book! CYA? I think so. Because in his first book he wrote this " “the family wanted a Muslim burial,” Obama quoted his brother, Roy, as saying in “Dreams.”
    In a press release last week the Senators office said his father was "an atheist" It reminds me of Clinton saying I answered this before now move on.
    What Tom is saying is that the whole story is not out and that the water is muddy. What is the big deal? The first book was written when he was a nobody the second was after he became a national figure (Getting up front money for a book deal is only ok for Hillary and Obama; they beat the hell out of Gingrich for it) You cannot say he is and has been up front.

  5. Follow the link you'll learn something.

    Also I'm pretty sure my family will want a Christian burial for me when I die, but I'm a confirmed atheist. I'm confirming it now. I'm an atheist. Don't let that stop you from singing hymns at my funeral brother's and sister's.

  6. Tom, your attempts to spread concern over Sen. Obama's middle name and religious beliefs remind me of the carefree spending in those campaigns of the 50s & 60s you wrote about: the campaigns that spent but didn't account for "rumours in bars".

  7. "That’s about as definitive a statement of his religious views as can be found." Or if you know how to use google you might have found Senator Obama's keynote address to the Call to Renewal's Building a Covenant for a New America conference from June 28, 2006. "It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany. I didn't fall out in church. The questions I had didn't magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side, I felt that I heard God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth." Its called the internet, and it can be used for more than just launching slanderous smear campaigns.

  8. It's Obama's buying into the UCC's pacifist agenda that worries me a lot more than Islam. It's Muslim allies Obama proposes to pull the rug out from under in 14 months. Christians will make out just fine.