Only 34 percent of Americans were able to correctly identify him as a Christian. Predictably, Republicans are far more likely to believe the president is a Muslim than Democrats are — nearly a third of Republicans think Obama is Muslim. But most surprising is the fact that the number of people who believe Obama is a Muslim has actually increased in the past year. Of course, Obama does do all kinds of Muslim-y things, so maybe it’s not really anyone’s fault that he’s perceived as a Muslim. I mean, when you see a guy drinking beer and palling around with Santa Claus, what other conclusion are you supposed to draw?
Dave Weigel’s take on this is particularly interesting. He notes that a right-wing blogger attributes the “Obama is Muslim” thing to Obama’s exoticism: “Obama has defined himself as literally exotic,” writes John Hinderaker at Powerline. “Small wonder that some Americans attribute exotic qualities to him. We’re not sure who he is, exactly, but he certainly isn’t one of us.”
And so we think he’s Muslim. Because Muslims aren’t like “us,” either.
As Weigel points out, the view here is, basically, Muslims are un-American. Muslims are not really part of “our” collective culture, or “our” America.
But that “Ground Zero mosque,” naw, that’s not about bigotry toward Muslims or anything. That’s just about respect.
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