JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim of Kenyan origins who
studied in Islamic schools and whose campaign may have been financed by people
in the Islamic and African worlds, Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi
said during a recent televised national rally.
“There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan
African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia.
His name is Obama,” said Gadhafi in little-noticed remarks he made at a rally
marking the anniversary of the 1986 U.S. air raid on his country.
The remarks, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, were
aired on Al Jazeera in June.
“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this
man,” continued Gadhafi. “They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his
success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution
campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency.
“We are hoping that this black man will take pride in his African and
Islamic identity, and in his faith, and that [he will know] that he has rights in
America, and that he will change America from evil to good, and that America
will establish relations that will serve it well with other peoples, especially
the Arabs,” Gadhafi said.
Gadhafi went on to lament statements Obama made at a June 4 address to the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee in which the presidential candidate
stated if he is elected president, “Jerusalem would remain the capital of
Israel and it must remain undivided.”
But it seems Gadhafi was not aware that the next day, during a CNN
appearance, Obama explained he meant Jerusalem shouldn’t be physically divided with a partition and was not referring to the city remaining in exclusively Jewish
Stated Gadhafi: “But we were taken by surprise when our African Kenyan
brother [Obama], who is an American national, made statements (about Jerusalem)
that shocked all his supporters in the Arab world, in Africa, and in the
“We hope that this is merely an elections ‘clearance sale,’ as they say in
Egypt – in other words, merely an elections lie. As you know, this is the farce
of elections – a person lies and lies to people, just so that they will vote
for him, and afterwards, when they say to him, ‘You promised this and that,’
he says: ‘No, this was just elections propaganda.’ This is the farce of
democracy for you. He says: ‘This was propaganda, and you thought I was being
serious. I was fooling you to get your votes.’
“Allah willing, it will turn out that this was merely elections propaganda.
Obama said he would turn Jerusalem into the eternal capital of the Israelis.
This indicates that our brother Obama is ignorant of international politics,
and is not familiar with the Middle East conflict,” Gadhafi said.
Gadhafi went on to express his hope if elected Obama will implement a “one
state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meaning Israel would be
flooded with millions of Palestinian Arabs who would terminate the country’s
He said he was worried Obama may have a “black inferiority complex” whereby
he may enact “white men” policies to prove he is no different from “white”
“The thing we fear most is that the black man suffers from an inferiority
complex. This is dangerous. If our brother Obama feels that because he is black
he doesn’t have the right to rule America, this would be a disaster, because
such a feeling would make him act whiter than the white, and go to an extreme
in his persecution and degradation of the blacks.
“We say to him: Brother, the whites and blacks in America are equal. They are
all immigrants. America belongs neither to the whites nor to the blacks.
America belongs to its original inhabitants, the Indians. Both the whites and
the blacks immigrated to America, and so they are equal, and Obama has the
right to hold his head high, and say: ‘I am a partner in America. This is my land
as much as it is yours. If it is not my land, it is not yours either. It is
the land of the Indians. You are immigrants, and so are we.’”
Obama was ‘quite religious in Islam’
Obama repeatedly has denied he is a Muslim. His campaign site states:
“Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a
But as WND has reported, public records in
Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years, and a number of
childhood friends claimed to the media Obama was once a mosque-attending Muslim.
Obama’s campaign several times has wavered in response to reporters queries
regarding the senator’s childhood faith.
Commenting on a recent Los Angeles Times report quoting a childhood friend
stating Obama prayed in a mosque “something the presidential candidate said
he never did,” Obama’s campaign released a statement explaining the senator
“has never been a practicing Muslim.”
Widely distributed reports have noted that in January 1968, Obama was
registered as a Muslim at Jakarta’s Roman Catholic Franciscus Assisi Primary School
under the name Barry Soetoro. He was listed as an Indonesian citizen whose
stepfather, listed on school documents as “L Soetoro Ma,” worked for the
topography department of the Indonesian Army.
Catholic schools in Indonesia routinely accept non-Catholic students but
exempt them from studying religion. Obama’s school documents, though, wrongly
list him as being Indonesian.
After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama was enrolled “also as a
Muslim, according to documents” in the Besuki Primary School, a public school
Laotze blog, run by an American expatriate in Southeast Asia who
visited the Besuki school, noted: “All Indonesian students are required to
study religion at school, and a young ‘Barry Soetoro,’ being a Muslim, would
have been required to study Islam daily in school. He would have been taught to
read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite
from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.”
Indeed, in Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” he acknowledged
studying the Quran and describes the public school as “a Muslim school.”
“In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during
Quranic studies,” wrote Obama.
The Indonesian media have been flooded with accounts of Obama’s childhood
Islamic studies, some describing him as a religious Muslim.
Speaking to the country’s Kaltim Post, Tine Hahiyary, who was principal of
Obama’s school while he was enrolled there, said she recalls he studied the
Quran in Arabic.
“At that time, I was not Barry’s teacher, but he is still in my memory”
claimed Tine, who is 80 years old.
The Kaltim Post said Obama’s teacher, named Hendri, died.
“I remember that he studied ‘mengaji (recitation of the Quran),” Tine said,
according to an English translation by Loatze.
Mengaji, or the act of reading the Quran with its correct Arabic
punctuation, is usually taught to more religious pupils and is not known as a secular
Also, Loatze documented the Indonesian daily Banjarmasin Post interviewed
Rony Amir, an Obama classmate and Muslim, who described Obama as “previously
quite religious in Islam.”
“We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house. If he
was wearing a sarong (waist fabric worn for religious or casual occasions) he
looked funny,” Amir said.
The Los Angeles Times, which sent a reporter to Jakarta, quoted Zulfin Adi,
who identified himself as among Obama’s closest childhood friends, stating
the presidential candidate prayed in a mosque, something Obama’s campaign
claimed he never did.
“We prayed, but not really seriously, just following actions done by older
people in the mosque. But as kids, we loved to meet our friends and went to
the mosque together and played,” said Adi.
Aside from a new website to fight purported smears, Obama’s official
campaign site has a page titled “Obama has never been a Muslim, and is a committed
Christian.” The page states, “Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never
been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends
the United Church of Christ.”
But the campaign changed its tune when it issued a “practicing Muslim”
clarification to the Los Angeles Times.
An article in March by the Chicago Tribune apparently disputes Adi’s
statements to the L.A. paper. The Tribune caught up with Obama’s declared childhood
friend, who now describes himself as only knowing Obama for a few months in
1970 when his family moved to the neighborhood. Adi said he was unsure about
his recollections of Obama.
But the Tribune found Obama did attend mosque.
“Interviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and
friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in
Indonesia,” states the Tribune article.
It quotes the presidential candidate’s former neighbors and third-grade
teacher recalling Obama “occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for
Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, notes the Tribune article “cited by liberal blogs as refuting claims Obama is Muslim” actually implies
Obama was an irregularly practicing Muslim and twice confirms Obama attended
In a free-ranging interview with the New York Times, Obama described the
Muslim call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
The Times’ Nicholos Kristof wrote Obama recited, “with a first-class
[Arabic] accent,” the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer.
The first few lines of the call to prayer state:
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet …
Some attention also has been paid to Obama’s paternal side of the family,
including his father and his brother, Roy.
Writing in a chapter of his book describing his 1992 wedding, the
presidential candidate stated: “The person who made me proudest of all was Roy.
Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to
reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam and has sworn off pork and
tobacco and alcohol.”
Still, Obama says he was raised by his Christian mother and repeatedly has
labeled as “smears” several reports attempting to paint him as a Muslim.
“Let’s make clear what the facts are: I am a Christian. I have been sworn in
with a Bible. I pledge allegiance [to the American flag] and lead the Pledge
of Allegiance sometimes in the United States Senate when I’m presiding,” he
told the Times of London earlier this year.
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