Obama's connections with Kenya-Truth!, Unproven!, & Fiction!

Obama’s Kenyan Connections-Truth!, Unproven!, & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

An email from a missionary to Africa named Celeste Davis.  In it she says several things about Senator Barack Obama: 

     1.  His cousin, Raila Odinga, is a Socialist who is trying to bring down the government in Kenya, Africa.
     2.  Obama has given almost a million dollars to his cousin’s opposition campaign.
     3.  Obama and Raila talk with each other daily.
     4.  Obama is a Moslem, is racist, and is the fulfillment of Jihad.
     5.  Obama’s real name is “Barak Hussein Muhammed Obama.”

The Truth:

This eRumor started circulating in April, 2008.  It is from an American missionary in Africa.

The missionary is Celeste Davis who, along with her husband, Loren, operate Loren Davis Ministries in Kenya. 

We contacted Celeste Davis and asked for documentation of any of her assertions.  Her reply was that the contents of her email were “common knowledge in Kenya.”

We’ll take topics in the email one-by-one, however:

Obama’s cousin, Raila Odinga, is a Socialist who is trying to bring down the government in Kenya, Africa-Truth! & Unproven!
Raila Odinga is a well-known politician in Kenya.  He served in various governmental positions including Prime Minister and was an opposition candidate for president in an election in Kenya in 2007.  He didn’t win but claimed that the vote was rigged and the uproar and violence that resulted took hundreds of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Part of the controversy surrounding Odinga is his ties with Islamic interests.  He campaigned for Islamic votes and it was rumored that he had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Moslem leaders.  The content of the memo was not immediately released and stories circulated that Odinga had promised that if he was elected, Islam would be the only religion of Kenya and strict Islamic sharia law would become the law of the land.  In November, 2007, Odinga and the National Muslim Leaders Forum, with whom the MoU had been signed, jointly said that there had neither been an agreement for Islam to be the only religion in Kenya nor a pact to implement sharia law.  The Moslem leaders said they simply wanted assurance to “safeguard the interests and welfare of a section of the Kenyan community (Muslims) that has undergone atrocities over the last 44 years.”

Non-Moslem religious leaders, however, claimed to have copies of a signed MoU that would have declared sharia law as the “only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared regions” and “popularize Islam as the only true religion.” 

Odinga claimed to be Obama’s cousin. He said that Barack Obama’s father was his uncle. A Reuters article from 1/8/08, however quotes Barack Obama’s uncle, who is not named, as saying that Obama and Odinga are not blood relatives. He said, “Odinga’s mother came from this area so it is normal for us to talk about cousins” but that the two were not directly related.

World Net Daily has published photocopies of what it says is the agreement signed between Odinga and Moslem leaders. Click for Agreement

Obama and Raila talk with each other daily-Unproven!
There is no way of knowing how often they talk, but they have met, both in the U.S. and in Africa and have had telephone conversations.  In a 2006, Odinga hosted Obama for a visit to Kenya and Obama appeared with him and praised Odinga at rallies in Nairobi.  At the beginning of the U.S. presidential primary season in 2007, Obama called Odinga, according to the London Telegraph.  Odinga said they discussed the “destabilizing constitutional crisis” in Kenya.  The Associated Press quoted Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs as confirming the conversation, which, he said, lasted for about 5-minutes.  The London Telegraph said it was understood that Obama also tried to call Odinga’s opponent, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.  

Obama has given almost a million dollars to his cousin’s opposition campaign-Reported to be Truth!
This is based on a document that has circulated in blogs and on message boards on the Internet and that is represented to be an internal memo of Odinga’s party’s “CAMPAIGN FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES.”  It includes a list of donations, one of which is from “Friends of Senator BO.”  The donation is for 66 million Kenya shillings, more than 1 million U.S. dollars.  The conservative website WorldNetDaily said in October, 2008, that it had confirmed that the donation was organized by Obama.  In a report published on 10/15/08, WorldNetDaily said sources in Kenya said the money came from a series of private meetings arranged for Odinga by Mark Lippert, a foreign policy advisor in Obama’s U.S. Senate office.  The meetings are said to have taken place during and Odinga trip 2006 trip to the United States.

Obama is a Moslem-Fiction!
This has been a widely-circulated story about Obama.  CLICK HERE for details.

Obama’s real name is “Barak Hussein Muhammed Obama”-Fiction!
Obama’s full name is “Barack Hussein Obama.”  We have not found any documentation of “Muhammed” or “Mohammed” as a part of his name.   The only reference, other than the Celeste Davis email, to this version of Obama’s name was from talk show host Bill Cunningham in an appearance on Hannity & Colmes on Fox News in February, 2008.  He is said to have called Obama “Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama” several times during the interview, but he gave no documentation of why he referred to Obama in that way and eventually stopped using it.

TruthOrFiction.com looked into Barack Obama’s genealogy dating back several generations and did not find anyone with the name “Mohammad” or “Muhammed.”  The senator’s father was “Barack Hussein Obama, Sr,” although some records have both of their first names as “Barak.”  Obama’s grandfather was named “Hussein Onyango Obama.”  The gravestone of Obama’s father used the name “Barack Hussein Obama.”

In an odd twist of genealogical fate, researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society found that Obama and president George W. Bush are 10th cousins, once removed.
CLICK HERE for a list of other related stories about Barack Obama

Updated 10/20/08