Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Obama and Islam | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The West always champions its slogan that religion is a special relationship between man and God, and no one has the right to intervene in this matter. Yet today we find that some have inquired into the affairs of President Obama, to determine whether he is a Muslim or a Christian. Despite repeated assurances from the man himself that he follows the Christian faith, 20 percent of Americans insist that he is a Muslim, and that his political ambitions prevented him from converting to Islam.

We are preoccupied with the issue of Obama and Islam, as are the Americans. Ever since Obama announced his presidential campaign, we researched his origins and his class. A leader of an Arab party declared that Barack Obama was both Muslim and the son of a Muslim, and that his real name was Baracka Hussein Abu Amama. It was claimed that his mother, after separating from his father, altered his name, and changed ‘Abu Amama’ into ‘Obama’. After these declarations, the Kenyans and the Sudanese entered the dispute surrounding the U.S. President’s background, and our brothers the Sudanese proved that the origins of Obama stem from the ‘Luo’ tribe, which inhabited an area of the Nile in southern Sudan before migrating to Kenya. Subsequently the Indonesians claimed that Obama’s origins could be traced to them, like the other countries, as he had lived amongst them for four years, in the care of his Indonesian Muslim stepfather. During this time he became immersed in the local culture, and it is said that ‘whoever lives with a people for forty days becomes one of them’. Therefore some may wonder: how can Barack Obama, a man who once described the Islamic call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset”, not be a Muslim?

However, first and foremost, people who are preoccupied with the matter of Obama’s origins should leave the issue of creation to the Creator. Whether he is ‘Abu Amama’ or ‘Obama’, the man is what he declares himself to be, and he is ultimately ‘Made in The USA’. As for those who think that Obama’s ethnic or religious origins will take priority over his agenda, Obama came to serve the interests of the American voters, who have transcended differences in race and color to choose the son of a Kenyan as their President. Thus he will be loyal to those voters above all else, and those who think otherwise can only grasp at thin air.