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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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29 Responses

  1. Thomas
    Thomas August 20, 2010 at 11:24 am |

    He most likely shares the fundamental religious conviction most popular among politicians in the US: opportunism.

  2. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus August 20, 2010 at 11:48 am |

    Muslims are the new communists, it seems.

  3. A.Y. Siu
    A.Y. Siu August 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm |

    Unfortunately, Obama just can’t win here. If he makes a point of denying he’s Muslim, then rational people will get upset, because he makes it sound as if it’s a bad thing to be a Muslim, and he’s lending some kind of credibility to these nutjobs who are trying to use suspicion-of-being-a-Muslim as an insult. On the other hand, if he doesn’t deny he’s Muslim, these nutjobs will just keep insisting he is a Muslim.

    “Only the true Messiah denies his divinity.”
    “What? What choice does that give me? All right. I am the Messiah.”
    Monty Python’s The Life of Brian

    Yes, very Salem witch trials and McCarthyism.

    Barack Obama is not Muslim. And even if he were that wouldn’t mean there’s anything wrong with him (except that he lied in saying he was a Christian).

    Really, I have very little respect for Democrats. But the Republicans and Tea Partiers have really taken it to a new low here. I used to just respectfully disagree with Republicans. I could get a little bit the “family values” and the “less government.” I could get that. I didn’t fully agree, but I got it.

    This is just not rational at all. This is strictly fear-based personal attacks.

  4. Djinna
    Djinna August 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm |

    I saw the poll in the hotel copy of USA Today (though, I guess in this day and age, I don’t have to justify how I happened to be reading ANY newspaper). Was trying to find a silver lining in it, the one that finally came to mind was that such a high percentage of Americans actually thought it was possible for a non-Christian to get elected president. Granted, a similar percentage probably also things that a communist was elected president, but no busting that bubble!

  5. Lasciel
    Lasciel August 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm |

    My bet’s on atheist, actually. I’m surprised that hasn’t stuck instead, with the whole snotty intellectual label.

  6. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe August 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm |

    We’re not sure who he is, exactly, but he certainly isn’t one of us.

    I don’t think it takes a genius to know what that means.

  7. Ladyfiaran
    Ladyfiaran August 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm |

    That poll depresses me, I’m not the biggest Obama fan but this is awful. It sucks that people assume Muslim=evil and that it’s horrible if he is a Muslim. For the the billionth time, Obama is a Christian, and who cares what religion he is, it’s no one’s business. But check this out if you can stand it, sadly, this is now many Americans think and get a load of the comments: http://www.debbieschlussel.com/26101/uh-sorry-time-technically-obama-is-muslim/

  8. Mizz Alice
    Mizz Alice August 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm |

    I don’t care what religion/race Obama is as long as he’s doing the job right. It’s ridiculous to me that so many people out there are scared of a religion that is not portrayed as the “normal” religion of the US. It feels like its putting me in the category of being a Christian because I am a white American, even though I’m not religious.

    People shouldn’t be scared of Muslims, they should be considering the ignorance out there that creates fear and hate. It seems that too many people out there are bent on controlling others who do not share the same views as them because its different and unknown to them, which reinforces a fear of the unknown in which people scramble to find a way to control and make it something familiar to them in their own little world. Then you have people out there in positions of power who are able to reach mass quantities of others who also reinforce this fear onto the masses, and now we have all this unwarranted fear of a Muslim mosque, or anything related to Muslims, or anything not included in the sphere of the “norm” that is vomited forth in the mainstream media.

    The fact that there is a whole poll out there surveying what Obama’s religion might be does not sit in my stomach well at all.

    “Fear? I know not fear. There are only moments of confusion. Some of them are deeply stamped on my memory and a few will haunt me forever.” -Hunter S. Thompson

  9. Nahida
    Nahida August 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm |

    For some reason the word “Muslim-y” cracks me up.

  10. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm |

    What’s funny is that when he was running, he got such shit for being associated with that one minister. Funny how Obama detractors forgot that.

  11. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin August 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm |

    I suppose it depends on how you define a “Real” American, and also speaks to fears of some whites that they might someday lose their grip on power. Many Americans don’t understand Islam. They didn’t care anything about it before 11 September 2001, and now all they know is a distortion based on fear.

    But how much of this is willful ignorance or just a lack of education is something I question seriously.

  12. William
    William August 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm |

    Obama is a Christian, and who cares what religion he is, it’s no one’s business.

    I’d be careful about going down the “its no one’s business” line too far. A lot of Bush’s more repugnant policies were the direct result of his fundamentalist Christian faith. The guy who lives next door to me? I don’t really care what his faith is. The President of the United States? I think its an important question to ask because we’ve just finished 8 years of a president who wanted to defend Israel because thats where Jesus is going to touch down, limit access to abortion and birth control because his little sky fairy told him that was the right thing to do, and let AIDS spread in Africa by imposing Christian moral limits on who can do relief work.

    The crap about Obama might being a secret Muslim might be a particularily odious and cynical play, but that doesn’t mean that all examination of the religious beliefs of a candidate ought to be off limits.

  13. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp August 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm |

    A lot of Bush’s more repugnant policies were the direct result of his fundamentalist Christian faith.

    Actually, they were the direct result of his belief that his fundamentalist Christian faith should be imposed on all Americans, and his belief that his faith is a great basis for American law. That’s the difference between a metaphysical belief and a political belief. I don’t care what a President’s metaphysical beliefs are — I care about what s/he will do politically.

    Anyway, I suspect that a lot of people identify Obama as “Muslim” because they think of “Muslim” as an ethnicity rather than a religion.

  14. Mechelle
    Mechelle August 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm |

    I posted a link to my Facebook yesterday about this. The link was, http://isbarackobamaamuslim.com/ In the message slot, I asked “Well, is he already?” to try to get people to click the link. A dear friend of mine (we are both Black. I just want to put that out there since it shows African Americans are just as gullible) commented and said, “Yup! He is and his mother is an atheist!” I couldn’t believe it! Not only because one of my friends believed this, but because she didn’t even click on my link. I asked her why she believed that and her reasoning made me almost cry. She believed it because she saw a video on Youtube that showed Obama having tea and lunch with Osama Bin Laden (I’m assuming the person he was dining with may have been a leader in a Muslim country. I wouldn’t put it past my friend to think it was Osama…) and the comments said it was because they were the same religion so she took it at face value. She said they did “research” on his mother so I am not sure if his mother was really an atheist, but I don’t really care either. I tend not to worry about the religious practices of others until they start to deny others’ rights, etc. The sad thing is, for many people, Youtube videos are all they need to see before they believe anything. All they have to do is ask is he is Christian or Muslim but they won’t.

  15. g_whiz
    g_whiz August 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |

    I tell my students when discussing in-group v. out group that the first time I was ever “just an American” was when I went abroad for the first time. It was an odd, disconnecting moment in my adult life where I wasn’t some Black first nationality second anomaly. I had to stop and ask the speaker what he meant by “An American”, because it was so alien to not be refered to as the “African” aspect of my self being the most important part of my status. The consistant reminder when it comes to minority issues/ culture and America is that the primary factor of distinction is your “otherness” until such a time as the group decides you’re relevant. People on the Right have done a very good job of making that apparent in their less than astute criticisms of their phobias du jour or late.

  16. Ladyfiaran
    Ladyfiaran August 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm |

    Mechelle: I posted a link to my Facebook yesterday about this. The link was, http://isbarackobamaamuslim.com/ In the message slot, I asked “Well, is he already?” to try to get people to click the link. A dear friend of mine (we are both Black. I just want to put that out there since it shows African Americans are just as gullible) commented and said, “Yup! He is and his mother is an atheist!” I couldn’t believe it! Not only because one of my friends believed this, but because she didn’t even click on my link. I asked her why she believed that and her reasoning made me almost cry. She believed it because she saw a video on Youtube that showed Obama having tea and lunch with Osama Bin Laden (I’m assuming the person he was dining with may have been a leader in a Muslim country. I wouldn’t put it past my friend to think it was Osama…) and the comments said it was because they were the same religion so she took it at face value. She said they did “research” on his mother so I am not sure if his mother was really an atheist, but I don’t really care either. I tend not to worry about the religious practices of others until they start to deny others’ rights, etc. The sad thing is, for many people, Youtube videos are all they need to see before they believe anything. All they have to do is ask is he is Christian or Muslim but they won’t.  

    Oh man, we really seem to be a nation of idiots *hangs head* Youtube is not the truth, I look at it as a place to watch crummy 80’s hair metal vids :) I swear we need an intelligence test for voting, just kidding but there’s a lot of dummies who vote.

  17. RenKiss
    RenKiss August 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm |

    I’m not surprised. Americans generally aren’t known for being informed about these things. I believe the reason why this belief has increased is because he has supported the Islamic Center being built near ground zero. But he’s never said he was a Muslim and has even said he was Christian. I don’t understand how so many people can be so confused about that.

    I agree with Ladyfairan, we do seem to be a nation of idiots.

  18. L
    L August 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm |

    Ugh, Ladyfiaran, that site just made me lose the remaining faith I had in humanity. Pleeeease do not read the comments people.

  19. Carpestellae
    Carpestellae August 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm |

    Fascinating & horrifying! Scaremongerers at work again huh? We have an election in Australia today & of the two candidates for Prime Minister, one has declared herself an atheist & the other is called the ‘Mad Monk’ by the press because he once trained as a Catholic priest. Oz is not as ‘God-fearing’ as the US, however there’s a growing fundamentalist Christian population. Expect more would have been made of candidates’ religion (or lack of it) if Julia had been Muslim rather than atheist. Biggest election campaign issue was how to deal with the boat people (refugees). I think that as the world has shrunk via electronic communication, xenophobia has grown enormously. Any comments?

  20. Ladyfiaran
    Ladyfiaran August 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm |

    L: Ugh, Ladyfiaran, that site just made me lose the remaining faith I had in humanity. Pleeeease do not read the comments people.  

    I know, it’s horrifying how ignorant and dumb people on the fringe can be. To quote Don Vito, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, I read that crap so you don’t have to. The rest of the blog is just as bad, and you got to see her videos on Youtube and read some of the comments there, sadly, these folks are for real.

  21. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm |

    Carpestallae, there was an article in the Economist about your election and how they were sad it was over because it provided some quality entertainment. I’m a little sad I’m not more educated about it.

    re: “I think that as the world has shrunk via electronic communication, xenophobia has grown enormously.” — I don’t think it’s just electronic communication. You can also look to the globalization of business. I like this thought and would love to see it turn into a post at some point in the future.

  22. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni August 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  23. sonia
    sonia August 21, 2010 at 2:23 am |

    While I would prefer people in power not kowtow to a sky deity, the situation currently is they have to show they do in order to reach said position of power. But all that aside, even if Obama were a Muslim he hasn’t really done anything significantly different from his predecessor in regards to policy. The largest issue Muslims seem to have with regards to US is its Israel policy. That policy is untouched by Obama. The wars have largely continued as before. Tepid support for a mosque that was anyway going to be built and where his support may have actually jeopardized its completion doesn’t count.

  24. kayloulee
    kayloulee August 21, 2010 at 2:51 am |

    PrettyAmiable: Carpestallae, there was an article in the Economist about your election and how they were sad it was over because it provided some quality entertainment. I’m a little sad I’m not more educated about it.re: “I think that as the world has shrunk via electronic communication, xenophobia has grown enormously.”— I don’t think it’s just electronic communication. You can also look to the globalization of business. I like this thought and would love to see it turn into a post at some point in the future.  

    Uh, it’s not actually over, not by a long shot. The first polls are about to close in 15 minutes (it’s 5.45 pm here in Sydney), and we probably won’t know who’s won until tomorrow morning at the very earliest, because people are a lot more annoyed with party politics than usual and are voting in more complicated ways such as pre-voting, postal votes, absentee votes (for when you’re not in your own electorate on the day). I expect the entertainment to continue for a couple of days at least. Should be interesting, a lot of people are voting for neither of the two major parties because we’re so annoyed with them. If you want to follow it, you could go read the ABC’s live election coverage, which is always good.

  25. William
    William August 21, 2010 at 10:04 am |

    Actually, they were the direct result of his belief that his fundamentalist Christian faith should be imposed on all Americans, and his belief that his faith is a great basis for American law. That’s the difference between a metaphysical belief and a political belief.

    When it comes to the fundamentalists of the world, thats splitting hairs. Put deeply religious people who believe that their god is the only god and everyone who doesn’t follow His illuminated word is going to hell in office and they start imposing on everyone else. The only real difference between Pat Robertson and say, the Taliban or Torquemada, is the amount of power they have to inflict their vile little dogmas on the people around them. Metaphysical beliefs and political beliefs are rarely separate, and human beings are pretty tyrannical creatures. Mix that with a religion based in conquest, blood, and fear like any of the Judaic faiths and you’re going to end up with horror.

    Around 130 years ago Nietzsche said “It is not their love for men but the impotence of their love for men which hinders the Christians of today from burning us.” Nothing has changed.

  26. matlun
    matlun August 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm |

    PrettyAmiable has already referenced this, but I just find it so fascinating that during the campaign there was a huge issue that he belonged to the church of Jeremiah Wright. Has everyone who believes him to be a Muslim forgotten about this?

    People are strange…

  27. RenKiss
    RenKiss August 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm |

    matlun: PrettyAmiable has already referenced this, but I just find it so fascinating that during the campaign there was a huge issue that he belonged to the church of Jeremiah Wright. Has everyone who believes him to be a Muslim forgotten about this?People are strange…  

    You know what’s also strange? That you have people who actually believe President Obama is some kind of anti-Christ. O_O So it’s like…President Obama is some kind of Muslim socialist anti-Christ.

    Yes, people are strange.

  28. Koyomi
    Koyomi August 22, 2010 at 3:42 am |

    Now this is just silly. Muslim or not-which it is obviously clear that it is a big ‘NOT’ here- So what? I think the ‘everyone’s-a-little-bit-racist’ mentality is now being replaced with a ‘Muslims-are-all-a-little-bit-terrorist’ thought process. As proven by Newt Gingrich, for his silly comment comparing them to Nazis putting up a sign outside the Holocaust Museum. >_> Because of course an infamous facist party is exactly like a certain, ordinary religon.

  29. Gajasimha
    Gajasimha August 22, 2010 at 7:16 am |

    20% of Americans need a new hobby. Stamp collecting, anyone?

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