Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama's tryst with Islam

I have always been skeptical about Obama's Muslim background.
He does not look like a Muslim. I could not see any shade of it.
But, my friends are enthusiastic about this more than everything else. After all his father is a Muslim, mind you, they tease! This line of thinking makes me uncomfortable and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Now I stumbled upon an excellent article by U. Mahesh Prabhu. His piece is interesting and it shed lights on Obama's "Muslim background".


If you think Obama's full name is 'Barack Obama' then you are half right. His middle name, which is hardly flashed in the media, is 'Hussein'. Thus his complete name is 'Barack Hussein Obama.'

Now the question that would certainly follow is: 'Does he, or not, have a Muslim background?' When the very same question was asked to him sometimes back his answer was 'If I was a Muslim, I would let you know.' and I believed in him. Obama is today a practicing Christian and also a member of the Trinity Church of Christ.

Obama in his campaign website on November 12, 2007 posted a statement with the headline 'Barack Obama is not and has never been a Muslim', followed by 'Obama never prayed in Mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim and is a committed Christian.'

Speaking personally about his Muslim lineage, on Dec 22, 2007, Obama spoke thus: 'My father was from Kenya, and lots of people in his village were Muslim. He didn't practice Islam. Truth is he wasn't very religious. He met my mother. My mother was a Christian from Kansas, and they married and then divorced. I was raised by my mother so I have always been a Christian. The only connection I have had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father's side came from that country. But I have never practiced Islam… For a while I lived in Indonesia because my mother was teaching there. And that's a Muslim country. And I went to school. But I didn't practice Islam…'

However, in complete contrast to Obama's aforesaid statement, in the article 'Obama Debunks Claim about Islamic School' Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press wrote, on January 24, 2007, that: 'Obama's mother, divorced from Obama's father married a man from Indonesia named Lolo Soetoro, and the family relocated to country from 1967-71. At first Obama attended the Catholic School Fransiskus Assisis where documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim, the religion of his step-father. The document required that each student choose one of the five sanctioned religions while registering – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic or Protestant.'

In response to the above claim Obama's communication director, Robert Gibbs, responded that 'He wasn't sure why the document had Obama registered as a Muslim.'

What more? Two months later, Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Obama campaign had retreated from that absolute statement and instead issued a more nuanced one: 'Obama has never been a [practicing] Muslim.'

The Times looked into the matter further and learned more about his Indonesian interlude: 'His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers along with two people who were identified by Obama's grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended. That registration meant that during the third and fourth grades Obama learned about Islam for two hours each week in religion class.' The article further continued stating that 'his childhood friends say Obama sometimes went for Friday prayers at local mosque. "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 we went to mosque together and prayed." Said Zulfin Adi'

To read the complete story, click here.
And also read : Coke, Pepsi and Obama!
And read : The Indian Obama and American Mayawati.
And read : Deve Gowda is greater than Obama!
And read : Obama, racism and America!!
And read : Karti Chidambaram and Obama!


Umair said...

Few Shers of Allama Iqbal just came to my mind after reading things like this about Obama.
بت شکن اٹھ گئے' باقي جو رہے بت گر ہيں
تھا براہيم پدر اور پسر آزر ہيں

Idol-breakers have departed, the rest are idol-makers
Though the father was Ibraheem, the sons are aazars(Jawaab-e-Shikwah)

سروري زيبا فقط اس ذات بے ہمتا کو ہے
حکمراں ہے اک وہي، باقي بتان آزري

Sovereignty befits only that Peerless Essence
Only He is the sovereign, the rest are aazar's idols(Khizar-e-Raah)

ہے وہي ساز کہن مغرب کا جمہوري نظام
جس کے پردوں ميں نہيں غير از نوائے قيصري
ديو استبداد جمہوري قبا ميں پاے کوب
تو سمجھتا ہے يہ آزادي کي ہے نيلم پري
مجلس آئين و اصلاح و رعايات و حقوق
طب مغرب ميں مزے ميٹھے، اثر خواب آوري
گرمي گفتار اعضائے مجالس، الاماں!
يہ بھي اک سرمايہ داروں کي ہے جنگ زرگري
اس سراب رنگ و بو کو گلستاں سمجھا ہے تو
آہ اے ناداں! قفس کو آشياں سمجھا ہے تو

The Western democratic system is the same old orchestra
In whose frets is nothing different from the Qaisar’s tune

The monster of despotism is treading in democracy’s robe
You consider it as the beautiful ferry of independence!

The legislative assembly, the reforms, the rights and concessions
In Western medicine the tastes are sweet, the effect is soporific!

May God protect us from the fervor of speeches of members of assemblies
This also is the capitalists’ sham quarreling to deceive the poor!

You have taken this apparent beauty’s mirage as a garden!
Ah ! O ignorant one! You have taken the cage to be the nest!(Khizar-e-Raah)

Luthfullah Azeez said...

Well said, Umair! My heart goes to Allama Iqbal! What a gem! What a vision! Whatever he has depicted, now we see it with our own eyes!
For me the most fascinating subject is Shaheen. His shers on Shaheen evoke passion and fervour. It makes your heart mellowed.


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