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Is Barack Obama a Muslim?

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Netlore Archive: Online rumor alleges that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim and has lied to the American people about his religious affiliation, including his claim to being a devout Christian for most of his adult life.

Description: Rumor / Viral messages
Circulating since: Jan. 2007
Status: Unsupported by evidence (see details below)

Example #1:
Email text contributed by Bill W., Jan. 15, 2007:

Subject:Fwd: Be careful, be very careful.

Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (black muslim) of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas. (white atheist ).

When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced and his father returned to Kenya. His mother married Lolo Soetoro -- a Muslim -- moving to Jakarta with Obama when he was six years old. Within six months he had learned to speak the Indonesian language. Obama spent "two years in a Muslim school, then two more in a Catholic school" in Jakarta. Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim while admitting that he was once a Muslim, mitigating that damning information by saying that, for two years, he also attended a Catholic school.

Obama's father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was a radical Muslim who migrated from Kenya to Jakarta, Indonesia. He met Obama's mother, Ann Dunham - a white atheist from Wichita, Kansas - at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama, Sr. and Dunham divorced when Barack, Jr. was two.

Obama's spinmeisters are now attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came from his father and that influence was temporary at best.

In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya immediately following the divorce and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

Dunham married another Muslim, Lolo Soetoro who educated his stepson as a good Muslim by enrolling him in one of Jakarta's Wahabbi schools. Wahabbism is the radical teaching that created the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad on the industrialized world.

Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when you are seeking political office in the United States, Obama joined the United Church of Christ to help purge any notion that he is still a Muslim.

Handsome . . . Charming . . . Winsome . . . Dangerous . . . Deceptive . . . Determined



Example #2:
Email text contributed by Ron P., July 8, 2007:

Subject: Who is Barack Obama?

Probable Democrat presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHIEST from Wichita, Kansas.

Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, 'He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.'

Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta.

Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world.

Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking Major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!

ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office - he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Kuran (Their equevelancy to our Bible, but very different beliefs)

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?...... NOT ME!!!


Analysis: We are asked to believe that Barack Obama, who for over 20 years has professed to be a devout Christian and spoken publicly of his "personal relationship with Jesus Christ," is in fact a covert Muslim who has lied his entire adult life about his true religious affiliation.

No tangible proof is offered — no sightings of Obama attending a mosque, no photos of him reading the Koran, praying to Mecca, or observing Islamic holidays with his family. There is no outward evidence that Barack Obama has ever evinced a belief in, or commitment to, any other faith than Christianity.

The entire case, such as it is, rests on a confused and error-ridden recitation of Obama's upbringing and purported childhood influences. It also rests on — that is to say, exploits — some Americans' fear and deep mistrust of the Muslim faith.

  • CLAIM: Obama's father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was a "radical Muslim who migrated from Kenya to Jakarta, Indonesia."

    STATUS: FALSE. Except in early childhood, Obama, Sr. wasn't a Muslim at all, let alone a "radical" Muslim. According to Obama, Jr., his father was "raised a Muslim" but lost his faith and had become a "confirmed atheist" by the time he attended college. Author Sally Jacobs (The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father, New York: Public Affairs Books, 2011) writes that Obama, Sr. was exposed to Muslim teachings as a child but converted to Anglicanism around the age of 6, attended Christian schools into his teens, and was "a-religious" as an adult. Obama, Jr.'s parents separated not long after he was born, his father moving not to Jakarta but to the United States, where he attended Harvard. Eventually Obama, Sr. returned to Kenya.
  • CLAIM: Obama's mother went on to marry another Muslim named Lolo Soetoro who "educated his stepson as a good Muslim by enrolling him in one of Jakarta's Wahabbi [sic] schools."

    STATUS: PARTLY TRUE. When Obama's mother remarried, it was indeed to an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro, whom his stepson later described as a "non-practicing" Muslim. But it was his "secular" mother who directly supervised his education, Obama has written, sending him to both Catholic and Muslim primary schools after the family moved to Jakarta.

    There's nothing on record to indicate Obama attended a madrassa (Muslim religious school) run by Wahhabists, and in any case it's unlikely his mother would have chosen to expose him to such an extreme form of Islam given her stated abhorrence of religious closed-mindedness and her stated goal of giving her son a well-rounded education, including in matters of faith.

    (Update: CNN tracked down the Indonesian school in question, the Basuki School in Jakarta, which a deputy headmaster describes as a "public school" with no particular religious agenda. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment," the headmaster told CNN. A former classmate of Obama's describes the school as "general," with students of many religious backgrounds attending. Obama entered the school at the age of 8 and attended for two years.)

    See also: Does Obama's Wedding Ring Say "No Got But Allah"?
  • CLAIM: "Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim while admitting that he was once a Muslim."

    STATUS: FALSE. Once a Muslim? When? Unless I missed it while skimming his two books and a great many news interviews, Obama has never mentioned, let alone "admitted," being a Muslim at any point in his life. Yes, he lived in a Muslim country during part of his childhood, but there's no evidence he was literally raised in the Muslim faith, nor has he ever been, so far as any public evidence shows, a practitioner of Islam.

    See also: Is There a Photo of Barack Obama Praying at a Mosque?
  • CLAIM: When Obama was sworn into office (as a Senator) he used the Koran (Qur'an) instead of the Bible.

    STATUS: FALSE. According to news accounts Barack Obama brought his personal Bible to his 2005 Senate swearing-in ceremony, which was conducted by Vice-President Dick Cheney. Those alleging otherwise are apparently confusing Obama with Congressman Keith Ellison, who actually is a Muslim, and who posed for photographs with his hand on the Qur'an after being sworn in to the House of Representatives on January 4, 2007.

Related articles:
Photo of Barack Obama "Praying at a Mosque"?
Does Obama's Wedding Ring Say "No Got But Allah"?
"Islam on Capitol Hill"
Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?
Barack Obama's Birth Certificate

Sources and further reading:

The God Factor: Cathleen Falsani Interview with Barack Obama
Chicago Sun Times, 5 April 2004

CNN Debunks False Report About Obama
CNN, 23 January 2007

Obama Describes Faith Amid False Rumors
Associated Press, Dec. 16, 2007

Debunked Insight Magazine and Fox News Smear Campaign
Obama campaign website, Jan. 23, 2007

Barack Obama Takes His Seat in U.S. Senate
Jet, 24 January 2005

At Swearing in, Congressman Wants to Carry Koran. Outrage Ensues
Christian Science Monitor, 7 December 2006

The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father
By Sally Jacobs (Public Affairs Books, 2011)

Dreams from My Father
By Barack Obama (Three Rivers Press, 2004)

The Audacity of Hope
By Barack Obama (Crown Publishers, 2006)


Last updated: 10/10/13

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