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Obama and the Giant Blogosphere Conspiracy By: Melanie Phillips
The Spectator | Thursday, June 19, 2008


Today’s Guardian reports that Barack Obama is setting up an entire unit to combat ‘virulent rumours’ about him on the internet. Doubtless one of the blogs in the sights of team Obama is Little Green Footballs, which in the last few days has been excavating examples of wildly anti-Jewish and anti-American prejudice and conspiracy theories posted up by fans on Obama’s own website. LGF is making hay with the fact that the Obamanables are belatedly taking (some of) this stuff down from the site while simultaneously insisting that its presence is nothing to do with them because the website has no moderators. Yeah, right.

The Guardian quotes the director of some monitoring outfit as saying that the blogosphere’s smears about Obama are particularly vicious.

He added that one of the most persistent is that Obama, a Christian, is ‘some kind of Muslim Manchurian candidate, planted by Islamic fundamentalists to betray the country and it is very widespread’.

Well now. Crazed Jew-hating American-loathing moonbats posting comments on Obama’s website are one thing. But the fact is that there are serious and troubling questions about Obama’s ancestry and associations and what he himself has said about them, which have surfaced in the blogosphere but have been almost wholly ignored by the mainstream media in its collective Obamanic swoon.

First is his childhood background. Last November, his campaign website carried a statement with the headline:

Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim

followed by

Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.

Obama has also said:

I've always been a Christian

and

I've never practised Islam.

But none of this is true. As is explored in detail on Daniel Pipes’s website, Obama was enrolled at his primary schools in Indonesia as a Muslim; he attended the mosque during that period; his friends from that time testify that he was a devout Muslim boy. A former teacher at one of these schools, Tine Hahiyary, remembers a young Obama who was quite religious and actively took part in ‘mengaji’ classes which teach how to read the Koran in Arabic. The blogger from Indonesia who reported this commented:

‘Mengagi’ is a word and a term that is accorded the highest value and status in the mindset of fundamentalist societies here in Southeast Asia. To put it quite simply, "mengaji classes" are not something that a non practicing or so-called moderate Muslim family would ever send their child to... The fact that Obama had attended mengaji classes is well known in Indonesia and has left many there wondering just when Obama is going to come out of the closet.

His father was a Muslim, as was his stepfather. His grandfather was a Muslim convert. His wider family appear to have been largely devout Muslims. Yes, we only know about Obama’s early years as a Muslim; and yes, twenty years ago he became a Christian. The issue, however, is why he has been less than candid about his early background and his family. Indeed, he appears to have actively deceived the public about it. That is why the blogosphere is so exercised about it.

Now here’s another curious thing. Much has been made of his membership of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago whose former pastor and his long-standing mentor, Jeremiah Wright, Obama was forced finally to renounce on account of his obnoxious views (although he has signally failed unequivocally to denounce those views themselves and the no less obnoxious philosophy of the Trinity United black power church). But according to a passing reference in a profile in The New Republic last year, Pastor Wright was himself a Muslim convert to Christianity. He seems to have moved from being a Muslim black power fanatic to a Christian black power fanatic – which might go some way to explaining his close affinity to the Muslim black power ideologue Louis Farrakhan.

Then there is also Obama’s troubling support for the Kenyan opposition leader -- and his cousin -- Raila Odinga, the leader of the violent uprising a few months ago against the newly elected Kenyan government and who signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenyan Muslims to turn Kenya into an Islamic state governed by sharia law. At the time, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya released a statement in which church leaders said Odinga

comes across as a presumptive Muslim president bent on forcing Islamic law, religion and culture down the throats of the Kenyan people in total disregard of the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of worship and equal protection of the law for all Kenyans.

As the Atlas Shrugs site reported, Obama actually went to Kenya in 2006 and spoke at rallies in support of Odinga, causing the Kenyan government to denounce him as ‘Raila’s stooge’. Why was Obama supporting such a person? Why has no-one bothered to find out??

Daniel Pipes makes another highly significant point about Obama’s Muslim background. He points out that, in the eyes of the Muslim world, Obama remains a Muslim regardless of what religion he now professes because he was born to a Muslim father. By his own admission (of Christianity) therefore, he is a Muslim apostate – a status regarded by the Muslim world as a sin to be punished by death. Pipes thinks this would put his life in danger and undermine his initiatives towards the Muslim world. But surely the more significant point is that much of that Muslim world has actually embraced him. Indeed the Muslim Brothers of Hamas – who most certainly would regard any Muslim apostate as someone to be eliminated – actually came out publicly in support of him (until Obama blotted his copybook by professing undying support for Israel).

We are entitled therefore to ask whether the Muslim world supports him because it believes he is still a Muslim. We are entitled to ask precisely when he stopped being a Muslim, and why. Did Obama embrace Christianity as a tactical manoeuvre to get himself elected? Why indeed has he dissembled about his family background if not for that end?

These multiple known deceptions by someone who may become President of the United States are deeply alarming. The concealment is the issue. To dismiss such concerns and the related questions they provoke as a smear campaign is to attempt to browbeat into silence those who legitimately raise them and require urgent answers as a matter of the most acute public interest.

Update: In this entry I originally included the following quote from the American Expatriate in Indonesia blog quoted above: 'Another of Obama’s former classmates, Emirsyah Satar, now CEO of Garuda Indonesia, has been quoted as saying: At that time, he was quite religious in Islam but after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion.' It has been pointed out to me that comments posted on that blog claimed that this was a mistranslation, and that the quote attributed to Satar was written instead by the author of the article.


Melanie Phillips is a British social commentator and author and a columnist for the Daily Mail. Her articles can be found on her website, www.melaniephillips.com.


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