Obama's Muslim roots

Ethel C. Fenig
 The presidential election was seven months ago, the 100 day honeymoon is over but the honeymoon lovey dovey atmosphere  with the press is still going strong.

But just prior to President Barack Obama's (D) trip to Cairo, Egypt where he will deliver his speech to the Muslim world, ABC News reporters Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller finally notice
something very interesting.   
The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign.

During a conference call in preparation for President Obama's trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said "the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago."

(...)


Since the election, however, with the threat of the rumors at least somewhat abated, the White House has been increasingly forthcoming about the president's roots. Especially when reaching out to the Muslim world.

In his April 6 address to the Turkish Parliament, President Obama referenced how many "Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim majority country. I know, because I am one of them."

Not mentioned, during his inaugural address, speaking about this country Obama deliberately delivered this sequence of religious beliefs, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus...and non-believers." This is true--and there are many other religions people follow freely in this country--but the order of the religions mentioned was telling.

And of course the first foreign interview Obama gave was to an Arab/Muslim station.

Tapper and Miller contrast Obama's current Muslim candor with his perhaps deceptive behavior and actions before the election. 

the Obama campaign was perhaps understandably very sensitive during the primaries and general election to downplay the candidate's Muslim roots.

Why understandably?  He could have easily met it heads on.  Instead, as Tapper and Miller elaborate, Obama ignored his middle name, a name he prominently used during his presidential swearing in ceremony. 

Obama also emphasized his Christianity emphasizing his regular 20 year attendance in a church, a church where he was married and where he and wife had their children baptized.  Of course the minister of that church, Rev Jeremiah Wright, turned out to be a bigot, speaking regularly against Jews and whites.  And so Obama quickly quit the church when he suddenly realized it was a liability. 

During the campaign Obama was evasive, deceptive some would say, about his religious background. 

The candidate's comment at a Boca Raton, Florida, town hall meeting on May 22, 2008, was typical: "My father was basically agnostic, as far as I can tell, and I didn't know him," he said.

He also highlighted his Christian faith as often as he could during the campaign while establishing a website, "Fight the Smears" that made no mention of his father's faith but did urge his supporters to report on media sites that charged him with being a  Muslim.

Whatever Obama's religious beliefs, honesty is obviously not part of the theology. 


 The presidential election was seven months ago, the 100 day honeymoon is over but the honeymoon lovey dovey atmosphere  with the press is still going strong.

But just prior to President Barack Obama's (D) trip to Cairo, Egypt where he will deliver his speech to the Muslim world, ABC News reporters Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller finally notice
something very interesting.   
The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign.

During a conference call in preparation for President Obama's trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said "the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago."

(...)


Since the election, however, with the threat of the rumors at least somewhat abated, the White House has been increasingly forthcoming about the president's roots. Especially when reaching out to the Muslim world.

In his April 6 address to the Turkish Parliament, President Obama referenced how many "Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim majority country. I know, because I am one of them."

Not mentioned, during his inaugural address, speaking about this country Obama deliberately delivered this sequence of religious beliefs, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus...and non-believers." This is true--and there are many other religions people follow freely in this country--but the order of the religions mentioned was telling.

And of course the first foreign interview Obama gave was to an Arab/Muslim station.

Tapper and Miller contrast Obama's current Muslim candor with his perhaps deceptive behavior and actions before the election. 

the Obama campaign was perhaps understandably very sensitive during the primaries and general election to downplay the candidate's Muslim roots.

Why understandably?  He could have easily met it heads on.  Instead, as Tapper and Miller elaborate, Obama ignored his middle name, a name he prominently used during his presidential swearing in ceremony. 

Obama also emphasized his Christianity emphasizing his regular 20 year attendance in a church, a church where he was married and where he and wife had their children baptized.  Of course the minister of that church, Rev Jeremiah Wright, turned out to be a bigot, speaking regularly against Jews and whites.  And so Obama quickly quit the church when he suddenly realized it was a liability. 

During the campaign Obama was evasive, deceptive some would say, about his religious background. 

The candidate's comment at a Boca Raton, Florida, town hall meeting on May 22, 2008, was typical: "My father was basically agnostic, as far as I can tell, and I didn't know him," he said.

He also highlighted his Christian faith as often as he could during the campaign while establishing a website, "Fight the Smears" that made no mention of his father's faith but did urge his supporters to report on media sites that charged him with being a  Muslim.

Whatever Obama's religious beliefs, honesty is obviously not part of the theology.