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About That ‘Obama Grew Up Muslim’ Story

From something calling itself Israel Insider:

Malik holds a photo of Obama and him in Muslim dress, reportedly when the two first met in 1985

Malik Obama confirms his half-brother Barack grew up a Muslim

By Israel Insider staff  June 13, 2008

Apparently the Obamas of Kenya have been reading those scurrilous emails to which Barack likes to refer, because they have no doubt — contrary to the claims of the Obama campaign, that the presidential candidate was raised a Moslem. They take that as a given.

As the Jerusalem Post reports, "Barack Obama’s half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background. In an interview with Army Radio he expressed a special salutation from the Obamas of Kenya."

The Obama brothers’ father, a senior economist for the Kenyan government who studied at Harvard University, died in car crash in 1982. He left six sons and a daughter. All of his children – except Malik — live in Britain or the United States. Malik and Barack met in 1985.

In a remarkable denial issued last November that still stands on the official campaign website, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs issued a statement explaining that "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

Apparently Malik Obama, himself a Muslim, had not read the press release.

Melanie Phillips is the most recent commentator to draw attention to the massive body of evidence that leaves no doubt that Barak Hussein Obama was born a Muslim (Islam is patrilineal) and raised a Muslim (so registered in school, acknowledging attending Islamic classes, reported accompanying his step-father to the mosque, and able to recite the Koran in the original Arabic).

Reuven Koret, Aaron Klein and Daniel Pipes have previously pointed to the attempts by Obama and his campaign to conceal the candidate’s Muslim background. The well documented evidence draws upon the on-the-ground interviews by researchers in Indonesia and Kenya, published quotations of Obama’s childhood friends and his school records, as well as the candidate’s own autobiography.

It is not clear whether Barack Obama will now disown his half-brother Malik, or throw him under the campaign bus, for acknowledging that shared family background. In any case, some one should notify "Fight the Smear" tout de suite. Perhaps they can get him with the program.

Sorry, but this story is nonsense. And it does not do Mr. Obama’s opponents any credit to dwell on it.

After all, what is the point of the Israel Insider article? Its claim is taken from the Jerusalem Post’s very brief characterization of an interview, presented here in its entirety:

Malik Obama says his brother will be good president for the Jews

Jun. 12, 2008

Barack Obama’s half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.

In an interview with Army Radio he expressed a special salutation from the Obamas of Kenya.

That is it. And it is a mighty slim reed upon which to base such a breathless headline and article.

The interview has reportedly published in Hebrew, but so far no transcript has yet surfaced.

Meanwhile, elsewhere (here and here) Malik Obama’s remarks were reported without any mention of the "despite his Muslim background" codicil.

Lest we forget, it was S&L that first unearthed the photo that is featured in the Israel Insider piece. In fact, the photograph is from an October 26, 2004 Associated Press article.

In that very article this selfsame Malik Obama is reported as saying that, unlike the rest of the family, Barack is a Christian:

Their paternal grandfather, Onyango Hussein Obama, was one of the first Muslim converts in Nyangoma-Kogelo, Malik said. However, not all of his descendants are Muslim, Malik added. Barack is Christian.

Of course there is no doubt that Mr. Obama lived in a Muslim country, Indonesia, nor that he went to a madrassa — which is also the Arabic word for "school" — whether secular or otherwise.

Nor is there any doubt that as a boy he had to study the Koran. As the article notes, this fact is mentioned several times in his first autobiography, "Dreams From My Father" and elsewhere.

But none of this proves that Barack was actually raised as a Muslim or that he is not now a Christian. (Even though we have our own thoughts on Mr. Obama’s brand of Christianity.)

Moreover, as the aforementioned AP article notes, Malik Obama never met Barack Obama until 1985, so he himself would have no way of knowing how he was raised.

But articles like these, based on the flimsiest of premises are apparently becoming de rigeur on many websites. (Cf. Larry Sinclair, the spammed phony Obama book quotes, the "whitey" tape, the Obama’s birth certificate controversy…)

The uncritical promulgation of such stories only helps the other site portray the right as foolish.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, June 14th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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