There have been repeated claims that Barack Obama is in some way a Muslim. These claims are completely false. They originally appeared to be part of a smear campaign designed to shave away support for Obama's 2008 presidential bid, although they persist to some degree even in the later years of Obama's final term as President.
These accusations, though completely contrary to the American ideal of tolerance, seem to resonate with some people who are apparently willing to grab at any excuse, no matter how shallow, to dislike Obama – possibly as a way of avoiding an admission of racism. (Indeed, many of these smears also include racial elements.)
There have also been repeated attempts to associate Obama with prominent "enemy" figures and paint him as a closet terrorist:
- emphasizing Obama's middle name of "Hussein" so as to evoke an association with the late Saddam Hussein, who was painted as an arch-nemesis by the Bush administration.
- mis-spelling his last name as "Osama" so as to evoke an association with accused 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden
The "Madrassa" Claim
In January 2007, Fox News ran stories claiming that the Clinton campaign had discovered that Obama was educated in an Indonesian madrassa (Muslim religious school). Obama did attend a local public school (not a madrassa) in Jakarta between the ages of 6 and 8; after that, he was enrolled in a Roman Catholic school. He did not appear to take his religious studies seriously in either school.
The Descent Claim
In 2008, Edward Luttwak published an article in the Wall Street Journal arguing that Obama would be considered an apostate Muslim by Islamic law due to his father being born Muslim, and concludes that this could be bad for foreign relations. This story was gleefully repeated by others (e.g. James Taranto), but it is also false. See commentary on the Luttwak article for more information.
Despite its falsehood, this accusation appears to remain credible to many people, e.g. pro-McCain rallyers who admitted to believing that Obama is a terrorist because "he has the bloodlines for it".
- /Conservapedia appears to be doing their part to spread the smear.
- Is Barack Obama Muslim?: links to a fairly small collection of sources (including Fox News) demonstrating that the answer is, of course, NO.
- 2015-02-16 Obama never emotionally "became American." "the 44th president of the U.S. is radically different from all of his predecessors: He spent his childhood in a Muslin nation, his biological father and stepfather also practicing the religion, and later grew up with Communist grandparents in the least “American” state in the Union (Hawaii), surrounded by radical Marxists, at least some of whom were acknowledged Communists with primary loyalty to the international proletariat and the Communist International (Comintern) rather than their own country." This should probably also be filed under a more general Obama derangement topic.