Senator Barack Obama is a Moslem-Fiction!

Barack Obama is a Moslem-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Various stories and questions about Barack Obama.
The Truth:
Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in February, 2007.  As with other high profile politicians there are stories and questions that began circulating on the Internet about him.
There are several emails circulating that, in different ways, say that Obama is Muslim.

In December 2009 a new rumor began circulating with a photo of the President saying that he was preparing to pray with Muslims at the Whitehouse in Washington DC during a Muslim prayer event in September 2009.  The photo was taken several months before in April 2009 while the President was removing his shoes to visit a mosque in Turkey.

Whitehouse photo: Obama visits mosque in Turkey

Obama’s middle name is Hussein (named after his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.), his heritage does include Islam, and his grandfather was Muslim.  But there does not seem to be a time when either he or his parents were practicing Muslims and Obama regards himself as a Christian.  Until his resignation from membership in 2008, he was a member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ where one Sunday morning in 1988 he said walked down the aisle during an alter call by the pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

One of the emails says that Obama used the Koran for his swearing-in ceremony in the Senate and intended to use it for his swearing in as president. He did not use a Koran for his swearing in to the Senate and used a Bible when he was inaugurated as president.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, did use the Koran for his swearing in ceremony in 2007.

In response to email rumors that have circulated about Obama, his campaign has created a page to respond to the rumors including ones about his faith.  CLICK HERE for the “Fight the Smears” page.

Falsini Interview
Some of the most definitive information about Obama’s faith comes from an interview he did with journalist Cathleen Falsini.  She writes that Obama was born in 1961 in Hawaii to a white mother who came from Protestant Midwestern stock but whom Obama describes in his own book as a Christian but “a lonely witness for secular humanism.”  Obama’s father was a black African from the Luo tribe of Kenya.  Obama called him agnostic.  Obama’s grandfather on his father’s side was Muslim.  When he was six years old, Obama’s mother and father divorced and she married an Indonesian man who was a non-practicing Moslem.  They moved to Indonesia where Obama said he attended a Roman Catholic school until he was 10.  An article Scott Turow on in 2004, however, said that while in Indonesia, Obama spent 2 years in a Moslem school then 2 more in the Catholic school.
In terms of actual beliefs, Obama told Falsini that he has a deep faith “…rooted in the Christian tradition.”  He added, “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people, that there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and that there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.”
He said his mother “…was a deeply spiritual person and would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world’s religions and talk to me about them.  Her view always was that underlying these religions was a common set of beliefs about how you treat other people and how you aspire to act, not just for yourself but also for the greater good.”
He also told Falsini, “Alongside my own deep personal faith, I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state.  I am a big believer in our constitutional structure.”
Regarding his conversion experience, Obama said, ”  It wasn’t an epiphany. It was much more of a gradual process for me.  I know there are some people who fall out.  Which is wonderful.  God bless them.  For me, I think it was just a moment to certify or publicly affirm a growing faith in me.”  Critics have said that his Christian faith is a political choice to help his image and conceal Islam in his life.  Supporters point out that his conversion took place before he ran for any public office.  In the Falsini interview he said he reads the Bible, although not as much as he wants to, and that prayer is a part of his daily life but not in the formal sense.  “I think I have an ongoing conversation with God.  Throughout the day I’m constantly asking myself questions about what I’m doing, why I am doing it,” he said.  “The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize.  There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they’re going to hell,” he told Falsini.  She said Obama did not believe that he or anyone else was going to hell and that he wasn’t sure he was going to heaven either.  “What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded.  I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die.  But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, aligning myself to my faith and values is a good thing.”
Obama’s support of abortion, including the controversial partial-birth abortion procedure, resulted in controversy when he was invited by evangelical pastor Rick Warren to be the keynote speaker at an AIDS conference at Saddleback Church in Southern California in 2006.  Warren, who is opposed to abortion, said his invitation to Obama had nothing to do with abortion and that he wanted to embrace diverse voices in his fight against AIDS.  Abortion opponents argued, however, that someone like Obama whose support of abortion included something so extreme as partial-birth abortion should not be given such a prominent platform and endorsement from pro-lifers.
Christianity Today
In an interview published in Christianity Today magazine in January, 2008, Obama said regarding his beliefs “I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful.”
In the same interview Obama said, “There is one thing that I want to mention that I think is important. Part of what we’ve been seeing during the course this campaign is some scurrilous e-mails that have been sent out, denying my faith, talking about me being a Muslim, suggesting that I got sworn in the U.S. Senate with a Quran in my hand or that I don’t pledge allegiance to the flag. I think it’s really important for your readers to know that I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam. I am respectful of the religion, but it’s not my own.”

Click here
for the page on Obama’s site that deals with his faith.

CLICK HERE for a list of other related stories about Barack Obama
Updated 12/12/09