Casting Stones

Casting Stones


Is Being Muslim Really so Bad?

posted by dali

obama19.jpgThe question must be asked by an American Muslim–it is really so bad for any of the presidential candidates to have any ties, even the slenderest of ties, to Muslims? More specifically, why is Barack Obama’s campaign so intent on snuffing out any connection he has–through his own family or through any of his travels–with the Muslim world? When did Muslims become the pariah of politics?
The latest mud-slinging between Hillary Clinton and Obama’s campaign involves a rather innocent photo of Obama dressed as a Muslim Somali elder during a visit to Wajir in northeastern Kenya in 2006. Thought to be leaked by Clinton staffers, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe quickly accused them of “shameful offensive fear-mongering” for releasing the photo.
Regardless of if the Clinton deliberately circulated the photo for that reason, why is it viewed as a “fear-mongering” tactic by the Obama camp? American Muslims are a six-million strong voting contingency, and as duly reported in Beliefnet’s God-o-Meter, Muslims are leaning towards voting for Obama. He’s seen by Muslims as a diverse man who seeks dialogue over war, who wants to amend U.S. global policy so that the country’s not viewed as a bully. But how, as Islamica Magazine’s Firas Ahmed writes, “do you root for a candidate who doesn’t want you to root for him?
“But for many reasons, Muslims are the one constituency Obama does not want
to court. With a wink and a nod, Obama’s Muslim supporters continue to work
for a candidate who cannot afford to wink back at them. Given his perceived
‘closeness’ to Islam, and the fact that he shares a name with a former Iraqi dictator,
it could be strategic suicide for the Obama campaign to vocally acknowledge
organized Muslim support. At a time when endorsements are worn like badges of
honor, no major candidate is looking for the Muslim vote.
Politicians donning ethnic dress is hardly a new thing. Hillary’s worn a hijab. So what’s the big deal? Rod Dreher of Beliefnet’s Crunchy Con blog nails it: “It doesn’t matter that [the photo] does not, in fact, show Barack Obama revealing his inner Muslim. What it does is strike a resonant chord within voters who, however irrationally, fear that he’s secretly a Muslim.”
Frankly, the whole thing’s pathetic. First he responded to a false email about him being Muslim by calling the rumors “scurrilous.” The email was false. Fine. But why “scurrilous?” And now this photo is a “fear-mongering” tactic. Is it such an insult to have any link with Muslims? For a man who’s all about change and hope, he’s slowly squashing any hope Muslims have for a fair shake by the government in this country, should he become president.



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FORN FORD

posted February 26, 2008 at 7:33 pm


I disagree about the analysis of Obama’a dress.
The Media / Press and Obama’s camp is saying it is tribal elders wear.
It is NOT!
Go look at hundreds of photos on the Internet of tribal wear in predominantly Christian Kenya. You will not find anything like that.
My Christian girlfriend, born in Iraq (3% Christian – now maybe 1% ) and lived in Iraq for 47 years. She said, “That turban is wound in the exact same way Muslims do when they go ? Hajijah. Make the trip to Mecca which is required at least once in your lifetime.
when Muslims trek to Mecca, that headdress is the head covering they wear. That is the symbol that distinguishes them as Muslims for their religious journey. It is created or wound in that exact same way. Look at photos of Muslims at Mecca and you will see they all or most of them are wearing that identical type of headdress wrapped in that exact same way.



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Charles Cosimano

posted February 27, 2008 at 2:41 am


Well, in the bulk of the country being a Muslim is about as electable as being gay. It doesn’t help.



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frgough

posted February 27, 2008 at 10:47 am


You know, it will be so refreshing when Muslims start going after the nasties giving them a bad reputation instead of the people pointing out that there are nasties in their religion giving them a bad reputation.



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Anonymous

posted February 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm


i saw a comment that was saying kenya is 97% muslim and there are no somalias who were born in kenya, that is absolutly false. kenya is composed of 43 tribe and each tribe live in a certain place/side in the country.and if you go to northeastern pat of kenya it is 99%somali but that does not mean they are from somalia,no,they are kenyans and they were born there.they have never seen/been to somalia.
in other word, if you are very important person and you visit a different country outomatically they will welcome you with their culture.it not a crime.



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Anonymous

posted February 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm


who ever commence that{obama is a muslim}story he should ashamed of him/herselfe.
you know it is better to say the true even if it bitter.
belive it or not obama is not a muslim.i have been to where his dad is from{kenya} for more than 15 years.and i know kenya more than he does {obama}.
so if you guyz want to convey a redendant and false information you should be ashamed of lying first.



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Anonymous

posted February 27, 2008 at 4:37 pm


I just can’t believe,in 2008,that any of this is an issue.I can appreciate Mr.Obama just wanting to keep the record straight.But how can being mistaken for a member of a different religion be an insult ? And he is my candidate, by the way.



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TruthPrevails

posted February 28, 2008 at 8:39 am


Isn’t it a shame that this is happening in our country that boasts itself as a beacon of Democracy and Secularism. A candidate who aspires to be the President of this “role model” democratic, secular state has to denounce even the remotest link to Islam? Obama is a Christain, but is it so bad to have a father and grandmother who were muslim. Should that make you un electable in this Secular state? Is’nt this Islamophobia, is’nt this the most unsecular thing to do?
It’s these double standards that are the root of Anti American sentiment in several parts of the world.
Look at India, a democracy that is barely 60 years old. India has had a Muslim president, a Sikh Prime Minister, a Christian ruling party Chair and a woman Prime Minister. Maybe we should learn something from this young, vibrant democracy.



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Maura

posted February 28, 2008 at 11:34 am


We as Muslims are forgetting one important political factor that is making any candidate for President hesitate these days to associate themselves with Muslims. That factor is the Zionist/Jewish lobby- not one of the candidates, Republican or Democrat, wants to rock the boat with the Lobby. Their control of institutions such as campaign financing, Capitol Hill, the State Department, and influence upon our Pentagon and our corporate media is the biggest dirty secret that the candidates should be fighting out in the open. It is our job as patriotic Muslims to stand by people like Ralph Nader to address the imbalanced influence that this one lobby has on our country’s future. We have been under seige from a pro-Zionist lobbying network for decades. It is time that this fact was given more airtime in the national debate. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans can take us for granted if we make this an issue of corruption, influence peddling, and injustice for open debate.



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Softmelody

posted February 28, 2008 at 11:46 am


Something is Not right about this whole campaign….having a black husband, even he says what is the deal here AND what will Oprah get out of this. Not to trust any politicians, no matter if they have a good talking game………..but, we are at the end of it all anyway and all that is hidden WILL come to the LIGHT and very, very soon…which will be good for some, not so good for most.
Our question should not be that we be ashamed for not helping and loving muslims, in which WE do, more than any other country, but why are we ashamed and willing to sacrifice our own nation and OWN roots for which this young country was built upon,from the Native American Indians till now, in order to appease SOME bullies that tell us, if we do not conform to THEIR ways, that they will blow us up??? Do you think talking to the Devil appeases him??? I think NOT! We have been forced to give up too many rights and privacy all ready…and having travelled out of this country and BEEN to INDIA many times, The Hindus are suffering mightily from the muslim world on all sides and being killed every day, so a Muslim Pres. did not solve this problem. Many americans are leaving this country as it is not Really grounded or founded anymore, but a scared jumbled mess, who has lost faith in their own CREATOR……..It is sad,,,,,,,,,sad in deed!



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karim

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm


we muslims dont care about obama or others, why do we care if he recognize or denies his roots, it s his own problem, we do not care



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amal

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:08 pm


obama has already said and proved that he is not a muslim, just because his name is a muslim name doesnt automatically mean he is a muslim. there are many christians around the world that have the same names as muslims, that were born christians because most of the names given to muslims and christians are arabic names not muslim or christian names. and many names we even give are children here in america without knowing are these names also. im so tired of this conversation lets talk about the issues and ascend race creed culture, and religion. he has respect for us muslims and i think that should be somthing that we should be happy about, he understands muslim society thats also something that we should be happy about, he wants to heal the entire world including helping out muslims brothers and sisters who are in struggle and strife around the world (Iraq, afghanistan, palestine) and that is something we should be very very happy about. it wouldnt matter if he was jewish for all i care, if he is saying he wants to help to solve problems and that is his true character, then he will make a wonderful and historic leader in this country.



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Tariq

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:20 pm


As a Muslim living in America I believe that we need to first look at ourselves to understand why Senator Obama has to distance himself from the Muslim world. We have stood by and allowed the world to learn about Islam thru the radical factions that have impacted the world stage. We do not stand up for ourselves and promote our peacefull Islamic teachings. We should not hate the Jewish lobby for standing up and promoting their issues. We should learn from them and use our wealth and numbers to create this same type of influence in this world. But we are caught up in living this capitalist life and our own personal cultural biases, that we do not unite as one nation. Until we are all prepared to unite and take the High Road to peacefull recognition, we will always be looked at as terrorist. The answer lies within us, stand up and speak out against hate and terroism. Lead by example and help your fellow Americans, ultimately that is the greatest Dawah you can do. Remember what it is said in the Quran “Which of the favors of your lord will you deny?”



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tyh

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:32 pm


Wasn’t Obama educated in Hawaii & indonesia in an all male Muslim school?. Don’t the Muslim begin there anti USA teaching of children at the early age of two in Afghanistan & Indonesia? Isn’t there somewhere in the bible which says a wolf in sheeps clothing with ties to a very small unknown countrysite will take over the superpower country & turn it upside down? Isn’t his father’s homeland that? What better way to plant a terrorist than to mate with a white american, be educated & attend that white american’s church. Blend!
He is NOT! a Black American!!! He is a TRUE BLOODED AFRICAN white American! Most Africans I’ve come across tends to feel Black Americans are stupid & inferior to them! They usually associated with other Africans or those so called Missionary christian White Americans.
Wouldn’t the military feel strange to be american soldiers in an muslim country, killing muslims & being killed & mamed by muslims, then returning to your country which is run by a so called Christian educated Muslim named Barack Hussein Obama?



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Big Daddy

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm


I think we should look more to the people who have put a black eye on Islam which is a great religion. The extremist have made the world feel uncomfortable with the religion not Obama. I don’t think Obama feels being a Muslim is scurrilous. I truly believe he respects the religion like he respects all religions but we need more muslims to speak out against extremist the same way they are discussing this topic. As long as you have muslims killing muslims, How will the religion ever be looked upon as favorably as other religions? Most people don’t even understand why muslims kill other muslims.



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nadia

posted February 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm


understand this is politics- US politics! with the events opf the past 7 years or so, the present government to further their own cause- using the ‘terrorism card’ has caused a certain wariness amongst many/some americans.though the portrayal of teh muslims is not a true and comprehensive one, as in all religions lots of people good..most; and soem doing bad things, in all faiths or communities all over the world.
so we don’t know what is in Obama’s heart..but what differenc does it make if he plays down teh muslim card- maybe he’s smart. it will certainly make a lot of americans not vote for him. in politics you have to play your cards to WIN. I think he is a sincee chap who wants to make things better.. so let’s not get all hung up over this. is it not better to ge the candidate who might make a difference though very difficult ssituation, than one who we know will not bother about some crucial world messes teh american govt has made!



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bisola

posted February 28, 2008 at 1:07 pm


I come from a country where you have freedom of religion and you can proclaim your religion in any part of the country, it does not disturb the voting public from voting for you. I’m suprised that a country like USA is having issues with declaring ones faith. I think the problem stems from the bad image Americans have about muslims, it’s high time the muslim communities in USA started work on proclaiming the virtues of Islam, by doing joint community service that would show Islam in a better light and also by educating the American public on what Islam stands for. For now Americans see Islam as synonymous with war and it seems to me that Muslims in USA agree with the general consesus. Muslims in west Africa have been able to move forward because of their selfless services in those countries. The American press says something else, but we know how well we as muslims in Africa are threated, sometimes because of our faith. Muslims in USA should take a hint and do something about Islamic Image in that country. Obama is just reacting to what obtains in his environment, he is ashamed of identifying with muslims because Muslims have not done anything to impress their immediate environment in that country.



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Mariam

posted February 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm


As a Muslim, I have been offended all along by Obama’s apparent need to distance himself from his familial Muslim history. The other candidates are, of course, no better in their unwillingness to publicly address the issues concerning Muslim Americans. It appears that aligning oneself with Muslims is political suicide, and being Muslim is tantamount to being unrepresented in American politics. I have no intentions of voting for Obama, mostly because of his adamant support of Israel, but also because of his unwillingness to include Muslims in his “unifying” message.



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Anonymous

posted February 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm


I don’t think that Obama means to offend anyone, but you have to look at this from another perspective. He can’t seem too anything in order to garner the support that he needs. I don’t think that he has a problem with Muslims just as he has no problem with Jewish people. He can’t come out as too pro-black or too pro anything if he wants to appeal to the masses an get elected. Please don’t be offended by his statements. He is just trying to do what he can to get the votes that he needs and looking at his background, (the fact that his father was African and Muslim and the fact that he is now a Christian but was exposed by his mother to all religions) he will be able to have respect for all Americans without being partial to any one particular group.



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OPEM MINDED

posted February 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm


COME ON PPL. ARE WE TO BE BLAMED FOR HOW WE WERE BROUGHT UP AND THE VALUES WE COME AWAY WITH. IF ONE IS NOT BROUGHT UP THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE AS A MUSLIM THEN ONE DOES NOT HAVE THE LOVE OF ISLAM IN HIS HEART. EVEN IF THE PERSON HAS HAD EXPOSURE TO ISLAM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD. INSTEAD OF THINKING HE IS NOT ADDRESSING ISLAM WHY NOT SEE THAT HE IS NOT OPPOSING ISLAM. ONE OF MY TEACHERS ONCE LEFT ME WITH A VERY PROFOUND PHRASE “THERE IS NOTHING STRONGER IN THIS WORLD THAN GENTLENESS” SOME THINGS ARE BEST DEALT WITH SILENTLY OR AT LEAST NOT TOO PUBLICLY



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Anonymous

posted February 28, 2008 at 2:01 pm


Also, do you think that by NOT voting for Obama (who is liberal and respectful of all religions but distances himself away from those who seek to kill others based on different religious beliefs) you will be doing any better. Of each candidate ask yourself who is more likely to be sympathetic to Islamic ideaologies-a candidate with who visits and connects with his Islamic ancestral roots as evinced by the picture, or any of the other White Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the race for the election. Look past religious views and look at who is going to protect your interest otherwise. It should not be important what religion he is, but the fact that he has respect for all religions and all people and has the ability to see things from a completely different perspective.



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nadia

posted February 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm


in the circumstances i agree with ‘open minded’! ppl, the media was making an issue about the ‘muslim’ bit. and he wanted to crush it. i’m sure he has feelings positive one’s towards islam and generally everyone- from all walks of life- he has pretty good values- so let him maximis his chnces and once he is – if- in power then he can try and redeem the messy situation. IT IS NOT WHAT YOU CLAIM YOU ARE BUT WHAT YOU BEIEVE IN YOUR HEART AND YOUR ACTIONS THAT COUNT.so let’s see.
:)



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HARIS A

posted February 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm


Someone just said, he is just trying to do what he needs to get votes? Are you serious. This is the problem with the democratic party and candidates-they simply try to get votes at this stage in the game. The reality is the democratic party continues to remain weak, primarily because they barely take a stance. Democrats, if they want to win-need to stand for something, not stand for everyone and everybody as their base suggests-you cant court everyone. More importantly, there is great weakness and a lack of sincerity and most importantly a lack of a strong character regarding your statement and Obama’s actions of trying to get votes. His actions have been to distance himself, not to ask why his previous actions should be an issue. Even if his personal opinions contrast to what comes out of his mouth-then what is he? If he were to be President? Who is really the President? Him, or his staff telling him what do and say? If he cant create his own opinion and take a stance, then he still needs to learn the basis of leadership. Any man can go and say whatever people want to hear to get votes? Thats what liberals and democrats criticized Bush for doing after 9/11.



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HOSSEIN AMERI

posted February 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm


ONLY IF OBAMA HAVE A REAL ISLAM FAITH/HE WILL HAVE THE SUCESS BY ANYWAY BUT IF IN FFACT HE HAVE NOT SUCH BELOVE TO ISLAM FM
THE HIS HEART AND MIND LET HE LOSSE/ AND HE WILL LOSE
SO HE CAN,NT BE BRAVE AND THEN HE IS EMPTY
FM THE HEART/ SINCE A REAL ISLAM FAITH AND REAL FIATH TO QURAN
AND ALLAH MAKE HIM AND TRSNFER HIM POWER TO WIN/
BUT IN SUCH SITUATON THAT HE DONT HAVE SUCH FAITH AND COURAGE/ AND JUST IN ORDER THAT HE GET A POSITION AS PRESIDENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND THEN HE HAVE THE SCARE TO DEFEND THE ISLAM
BETTER HE LOSE THIS GAME AND CERTAINLY HE WILL LOSE.
I HAVE TOLD HIM PERSONALY VIA A MAIL THAT IN CASE HE IS A REAL ISLAM
AND HAVE SUCH GREAT FAITH TO REAL ISLAM NOBODY CAN OUTHIM
AND ALLAH /GOD MAKE HIM THE SUCESS AND WITHOUT HITCH.
SO HE MUST BELIVE THIS FACT THAT NOW HE IS IN A BIG GAME
AND HE IS LOOKED BY SAINTS AND ANGELS AND ALLAH?
DOSE HE REALLY HAVE SUCH COURAGE AND FAITH
AND IF YES WHY HE SHOULD NOT ?HAVE THE FAIR TO ANNOUNCE
AND MUST BE SURED THAT HE WILL BE THE WINNER
EVEN EVYBODY TRY TO PUSH HIM OUT.
AMERI HOSSEIN
TEHRAN
==



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Alanah

posted February 28, 2008 at 5:15 pm


What Haris writes is ridiculous. We are forgetting that in the USA there is a separate between church and state. It is that way for a reason. Obama’s religious background should is based on his personal relationship with who he worships just as the others who write. What is most important is his views on the foreign policy, domestic issues, the economy-you know, the things that are of the president’s concern. If you are a Muslim or Christian or Jewish, you need not select a candidate because he is of the same religion, or for that matter race. What is important is to have someone who is not only tolerant (as other candidates may appear) but respectful of others religious beliefs (as he is.) If you actually do some research, you will see that Obama’s mother exposed him to all the different major religions and let him decide, so that is evidence that he has had some exposure and by the way that he speaks, he has reverence for all of those religions. His personal decision is his own, just as each of us have our own.
Also, it is important to appeal to the masses becasue the masses are voting for you. Making sure that your message is appealing and touching to everyone is important when you are an American president. People want and NEED to look at you and feel like they can identify with you and trust that you won’t try to persecute them for what they believe or what they look like or dress like. This is not about being mindless. This is about being sensible.
As far as his principles go, he has spelled them out loud and clear. He has positions. He has ideas about the way this country should be run. He has run an excellent, successful, inspirational, record-breaking campaign. He has been a member of the Senate, a community organizer, a teacher, a top notch student, and appears to be a good father. These are indications of his values. He has openly stated that he does not intend to staff the White House with a bunch of yes men with old state ideas. Nothing about him is weak and spineless. I wrote those comments about Obama earlier about him trying to appeal to the masses. I just wanted to respond to Haris.



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pam

posted February 28, 2008 at 7:38 pm


I am not concerned wether Obama is Muslim but what he really stands for. To have the heart of God and to care for the most innocent of society truly makes a good leader! Here is some information that some people might find surprising! ON BORN ALIVE INFANT PROTECTIONS: In March 2001, Obama was the sole verbal opponent, both in committee and on the Senate floor, of the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protections Act, which prohibits killing babies born alive during “botched abortions”. Obama voted against the legislation. He supports infantcide. ON TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION: Voted for legislation to allow federal taxpayer dollars to go to organizations that PERFORM or PROMOTE ABORTION. ON PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT LAWS: Voted to kill a bill that would have required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before aborting the baby of a minor girl from another state. I believe that at the heart of every religion should be the desire to good and avoid evil. I know that we toot as Americans the separation of church and state but we have never seperated God from our country! Remember that in God we trust has always been the American motto. I believe that good Muslims, good Catholics, good Christians, good Jews all believe in the 10 Commandments from Moses and when it come to innocent little babies who may not be born because of the killing of them by a candidate we vote in office puts chills up my spine. Thou shall not kill is one of the commandments that Moses gave to us all!I firmly believe that a candidate running for president should not have a voting record that looks like this! If a candidate cannot have the backbone to defend God’s precious babies and votes to kill them then we are really in trouble In this country!! There is nothing closer to God than a child and America needs to wake up to this fact! May “God have mercy on America and may we all wake up before it is too late. In God We trust/Pam



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HARIS A

posted February 28, 2008 at 8:17 pm


No, Alanah, see the point I’m making correlates with the article/blog itself…You’re missing the point. I dont make any claims of Obama’s religion, nor do I care. I don’t care about his mother, I don’t care what she taught him, its meaningless to this discussion and to the relevance of this discussion. I get messages by the dozen about Muslims for Obama etc, etc, etc, etc….but as a demographic, why are so many Muslims eyes and ears closed? Obama may provide insight into America , however as a leader Why is Obama good for Muslims as I ask so many Muslims. Yet those muslims have no answer. You are correct, we area American Muslims, but still Muslim. Why are there Muslims who are closing their eyes and ears to the fact that Obama simply is not interested in catering to their interests or vote vs. the counterpart Jewish interests, which he openly supports, addresses and appreciates. His rhetoric follows true hardline democratic tradition in this perspective. I realize Palestine is not the central issue to Muslims of America, however it is one of the issues that if you were to ask Muslims in America they would easily say, yes that is important to them. His rhetoric and actions have clearly suggested he wishes to draw apart from any reference to his Muslim, voters and any previous Muslim interests he had. He does not only separate himself but goes beyond to minimizes it’s importance or go as far as to accuse others of trying to stop his candidacy progress. He takes no responsibility or appreciation of that aspect of his life and then for what? Because he may lose some votes? So he chooses to distance himself? I’m sorry, that’s very juvenile. It’s like if in elementary school there was a kid who was too popular and cool, yet he had a friend who was a nerd because he lived next door, but in school the cool kid would he would join in on hating the nerd kid and at home go back and befriend him. Muslims in America have become the nerd. Many have stopped thinking with their minds and only follow their emotion. Yet in this case, its worse-cause he’s left behind not only the cocaine but the people and events that molded him.



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bijann

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:29 am


just goes to show how Americans are ignorant and practice double standards. They preach freedom of worship and freedom of speach, yet they judge a Presidential candidate because he has a muslim father or because he is dreesed in an African traditional outfit which by the way has nothing to do with religion. Deep down, the Americans are still racists and dont want to see a black man President of the USA.It all boils down to racism and any excuse to destroy Obama is good for them… The man is brilliant and will change America… the whole world hates America right now because of Bush and his ignorance in reaching out to people of different relious and cultural backgrounds.He wants the whole world to be like America and to think like him. This is not Democracy, but ignorance and narrow mindedness.We need to see a change in America and Obama can do that.



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bernard akpoborie

posted February 29, 2008 at 5:13 am


religion and race are the fundamental issues america must deal with. half the problem has been solved by separating state and religion. this separation has enabled the state to progress at a much faster pace than religion will allow. the muslim-states that are at perpetual war with the “non-religious” states (of the west mainly) rely on “godless” western technology and knowledge for their well-being. whom are we deceiving? the fear and confrontational tactics of the muslim east is fast becoming an annoying irritant just as the american double standard (consider its stance on global warming) is becoming vexatious.
the truth of the matter is that subsequent to 9/11 and london muslims
have achieved pariah status. their ridiculous assertions in the netherlands because of one cartoon (which in actuality is an indication of the growing frustration with islamic tactics, intolerance and double-speak) is further isolating them. nobody is going to listen when anyone says that islam is a peaceful religion (as was taught and practiced by Prophet Muhammad)when all we see from islam is violence and intolerance.
that is why barack (and any liberal person around the world for that matter) may not be too comfortable with pushing islam publicly – not when so much is at stake.
i give you examples of islamic “nonsense” – a woman is raped. instead of punishing the rapist you punish the woman (because she is not supposed to be with a man that is not her relation). after punishing her you say she should not cry out. the world has grown beyond the point where marriages are arranged and women and men are sentenced to perpetual sorrow because they cannot break out of arranged marriages.
please, let us not distract this emerging process.
thank you.



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Noman

posted February 29, 2008 at 6:34 am


I cant understand one thing, every political person who visit any other country normally tries to wear their costumes to give an impression of being friendly and also to give the impression that i respect your tradition.
Like almost every one who visits China, wears their dress.
so whats a big deal, if Obama dressed like Kenyan or Muslim people?
Clinton himself dressed like Indians when he visited India last time, does it mean he is Hindu? and Muslims should not vote for him



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Rosana

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:51 am


Sadly, I must agree, word for word, with the earlier post made by bijann, in her statement that Americans are still racist. I think it’s sad, but true. And again, sadly, I must disagree with the earlier post by bernard akpoborie when he stated, “religion and race are the fundamental issues america must deal with. half the problem has been solved by separating state and religion.” I, personally, believe we are far from separating religion and government. A presidential candidate’s religion is always an “important issue”. Why? Why was there concern for voting for a Catholic president (Kennedy)? Why do Americans care what religion the head of their government practices – or doesn’t practice. It should be a non-issue.
I feel sorrow that Senator Obama has to distance himself from his religious beliefs in order to placate a bunch of ignorant, misinformed, prejudiced and uneducated Americans. Not only sorrow for Senator Obama, but sorrow for our country, which has fallen so far due to this faction of uninformed, bigoted Americans who don’t know their own history and don’t care enough to educate themselves.



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William B Harrell

posted February 29, 2008 at 11:31 am


Bismillah ir-Raham ir-Rahim,
As salaamu ‘alaikym warahmatuallahi wabarakatuh, my friend.
Insha’Allah, unless you have been living in a cave since the events of “9/11″, and unless you have not learned that one of the most infulential lobbys in our nations capital is the “pro-Islraeli” lobby, then you should not have to ask this question.
The USA has had and promoted negativity towards Islam and Muslims since the first World War, where the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany. Relations deteriorated further after Saudi Arabia nationalized the US oil companies which had been exploiting the Arab nations.
The current Commander and Chief of the US began his personal campaign aimed at upholding the “honor” of his father who, while president, failed in his attempt to restrain a “dictator” whom the US had enstaled into power. Further, the current president Bush declared early on in the present conflict that this was a “crusade” against Islam.
All Muslims, regardless of nationality are veiwed as “terrorist” and extremist. Islam is vilified and distorted on a regular, if not nightly basis on the national televised news.
There are two major things that a politician can do to end his or her career in the US. One, denounce Islrael for its treatment of the Palestinians and its refusal to abide by the UN Resolution 242 and 338 while conducting terrorist acts against the Palestinians, stteals their lands and destroys their homes and secondly, support Islam and the Muslim nations in any shape, form or manner that might be equated with allowing them to be self determining as to their form of government.
You might find it a good time to awaken from what must have been a long slumber to the current reality of the West towards Islam.
Insha’Allah, may you be rightly guided.
Wa’alaikym salaamu warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.



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Anonymous

posted February 29, 2008 at 11:44 am


God is One God all revelation come from Him and when mankind respects this fact, and live according to the instructions commanded and come together in true love, peace, and harmony, we will have a better people and a better society that we truly can be an upright example to the world. Whether Obama is muslim or christian all religions carry the same attributes of God.
Thank You,
Depretha



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Sharifah Ali

posted February 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm


I am an African American Muslim women. My maternal grandparents were charter members of a Presbyterian churh.My paternal grandparents were Baptist. I later transfered to an Episcopalian church established by Rev.Absalom Jones.I have a Christian brother & a Yogi brother. Most Sundays A.M. I watch TVone(check your cable stations). Barack Hussein Obama belongs to Trinity United Church of Christ.The retiring/retired pastor of Trinity is Rev Dr.Jeremiah Wright Jr.If you have never heard his sermons you have been deprived. Barack Obama’s name is Arabic. People need to learn custom & religion before debating issues.Most people including Africans,Arabs,Jews,Muslims,Hindus,Yogis,Christians,etc, name their children names to aspire to or something positive, hence you will find arabic names everywhere.Some people don’t know what their name means,which is shameful.If people knew their names, maybe they would behave more postively.It appears that Mr Obama respects cultures & religions. I am not endorsing anyone, as I am prohibited by the Hatch act from participating in politics, however my love of ALLAH(swt)& all His prophets,compels me to respond. To the self-righteous in Christianity I ask, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ? To the muslim fanatics, There is compulsion in ISLAM, ALLAH(swt)makes muslims(Quran).



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Sharifah

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:00 pm


CORRECTION; THERE IS NO COMPLUSION IN ISLAM. ONLY ALLAH MAKES MUSLIMS(QURAN)



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Howard Garey

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm


As a Baha’i son of Jewish parents I find myself in full agreement with this article. My mother nurtured me in the respect for all races, religions, ethnicities, including mother tongues; and accepting the Baha’i Faith reinforced these principles in me. Baha’is acknowledge their Islamic origins and their debt to the Prophet Muhammad. For example, the last post was “There is no compulsion in Islam. Only Allah makes Muslims.” We are also taught that Islam means Submission {to the will of God). Now, to politics: It is shameful that Obama for political reasons has to make it clear that he is not Muslim, in spite of his clearly Islamic name and the religion of his father. That he is not a Muslim, that he is a Christian, should have no relevance in the American political system. It is even more shameful that his picture in Somali dress should arouse any negative feelings whatsoever. I wish knew what Senator Clinton’s role in this was. I know I hope what it wasn’t. How many American presidents have been caught wearing a native American headdress – and been blamed for it! Excuse my long-windedness. It is an effect of my passion for justice.



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Bobby Burton

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm


Howard, How many Native American Indians have flew passenger jets into skyscrapers latley????Yet, I do agree with you that religion has no place in the politics.
Sharifah, Do what? The only thing he has an understanding of, is what he has gotta say to get elected.



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Ima

posted February 29, 2008 at 9:59 pm


I am a Muslim, and I think Obama is supported by Muslims worldwide, because he is our hope that Islam will be better understood by all, especially Americans. The ordinary Muslim is no terrorist, far from it – just as the ordinary Christian or Jew is no Mafia.



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Ima

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:06 pm


The headdress is NOT worn for the Haj. They are not allowed to cover their heads when doing the Haj!!



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cassey

posted March 1, 2008 at 12:53 am


Snopes says this is TRUE. It did happen, and why didn’t the media cover it?
http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/muslimprotest.asp
——————————————————————————–
Pictures from London —this is beyond scary!
These pictures are of Muslims marching through the streets of London during their recent “Religion of Peace Demonstration.”
Why would anyone think that we should be at warwith such nice, peaceful Moslems?!
Americans need to know – You need to forward this one to everyone! These Pictures tell it all!
Muslims have stated that England will be the first country they take over!
These are pictures not shown on American TV or in American Newspapers (as they might help Bush’s war on terror), but were forwarded to me by a Canadian Friend who thought Americans ought to know!



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Anonymous

posted March 1, 2008 at 1:03 am


May the best candidate win. Who will work for the interest of the American people not for his own and in the interest of his CORNIES.



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kri

posted March 1, 2008 at 2:01 am


There is no such thing as being a Muslim in secret, except in extreme cases when your life or your loved ones’ lives are in danger. Even then, true Muslims would rather accept their fate and God’s pleasure than denounce their faith just for public acceptance or other worldly gains such as the American presidency.
The Islamic faith can be nullified by one’s intention, utterance or action. Even if Obama started out as a Muslim, his public denial has effectively made him a non-believer in the eyes of God and other practicing Muslims the world over.
The question of him being an “inner” or a secret Muslim should not arise at all. But as a Muslim, I believe there is a “potential” Muslim in everyone — Obama, Clinton and McCain inluded — because as someone posted earlier, “only God makes Muslims”.



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KSI

posted March 1, 2008 at 10:31 am


Bobby Burton, fyki, no Muslim flew those planes into the WTC either. Perhaps you need to climb down off that Muslim-bashing bandwagon and see the truth.



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babyblue

posted March 2, 2008 at 6:51 pm


First off I some what agree with your article. I think you are right by asking the question, why is it so wrong being a muslim. I am a muslim as well, but i think that Obama should become a president. i believe that because even though he says that he isn’t a muslim, it was Hilliary’s campinge how are accusing him of beinging a muslim. i think that there are despartly trying to find anything against him. i believe that the people how are saying that he’s a muslim are the ones to blame, they are the ones how are tryin to make it seem like muslims are a bad thing.



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chris

posted March 2, 2008 at 11:31 pm


can’t we all just get along? I was told that muslims have more rights here in the US than in most of the primarily muslim countries. Barack was playing dressup. But still…. Who cares if he’s jewish or muslim or mormon or catholic… buddhist? It’s not about the church… it’s about the state, and bringing the world together. We need a world union (like united nations but with more oompf). I think that Obama has the ability to save the usa’s rep… We have many suffering in this world and many with way more than they need. We should have a group of scientists from around the world come together and figure out what’s best for our planet… figure out what the population of humans should be, and control it… not by starving people. No. No. No. We’re destroying our planet. We’re all greedy for temporary pleasure and thrill. I am too. Something needs to be done so we can continue to live on this amazing rock for thousands of years to come.



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Annie Turner

posted March 3, 2008 at 8:27 am


Being Muslim or not isn’t my problem with Obama — It’s his politics in general. I just don’t agree with things he’s saying & how he’s going to do it. That’s his inexperience speaking in my opinion. He needs to learn alot more before he can be the President of these United States I say.



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Maura

posted March 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm


I think Muslims should consider supporting Ralph Nader for his positions on the Palestinian crisis. Obama’s silence on this matter has been deafening.



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Abdul-Mu'izz

posted March 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm


A Muslim basically means ‘one who submits to the will of G’d.’ So it is very unfortunate that there are some Americans who are afraid of this noble title. Perhaps this ignorance exists because majority of Americans are not able to look beyond the influences that the media permeates throughout the minds of this American public. Hence, we all know that there are extreme Muslims as well as — extreme Jews, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, etc. So any of these labels that I mentioned above are not excluded from scrutiny — if the possessors of these labels are not morally sensitive, or willing to practice fairness to all human beings. I think the main question American citizens should ask themselves this coming general election: Is Barak Obama, Hilliary Clinton or John Mccain-Bush going to perpetuate the destructive policies that George W. Bush put upon our great nation and the world abroad?



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Jeannie

posted March 3, 2008 at 8:55 pm


As a Christian and an American I have not decided who to vote for.I will not base my choice on relgion or race but on the abilty of the person.I wish we could think of how alike we all are,not in our differences.
Peace to all,
Jeannie,SC



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Ron Pine

posted March 3, 2008 at 11:55 pm


Do not compare Muslim extremists with those of other religions. Christian, Hindu, or Jewish extremists do not call for the murder of non-believers, nor do they hijack airliners and crash them into office buildings murdering thousands, nor do they show their contempt for human life by encouraging their children to become suicide bombers. No Christian, Hindu, or Jewish mother would raise her child to kill himself in the name of religion. It is only the muslim extremists who embrace these evil practices.



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AlHaj

posted March 4, 2008 at 3:15 am


Whether it is Obama or Hilary, the choice are for the Americans. Why wrecked Obama with Islam. He has nothing to do with it and definetly he is not a Moslem.



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Maura

posted March 4, 2008 at 11:20 am


I am even more convinced that Muslims should support the Ralph Nader campaign for just for all, not just Zionists. The news today is that Obama agrees with Bush that we should not negotiate with the democratically-elected Hamas officials about the Palestinian crisis. What kind of common sense judgement is that to agree with the Zionist agenda of Bush?!



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RuthT

posted March 4, 2008 at 12:38 pm


I find this terribly sad. Was not this country founded upon the principle of “freedom of religion”? To me, and to our Founding Fathers, this meant that each individual should be free to worship in his/her own way in the belief of choice – and that all belief systems were to be held as valid for the individual. There were actually a few Muslims living in the colonies at that time, along with some agnostics, athiests … It is my opinion that Obama could make the hostilities worse by distancing himself so radically. Does he not read his Scripture – when Sarah told Abraham to exile his mistress, their son went with her. They were saved from dying of heat exhaustion and starvation by God who told her not to fear, that he would make her son,Ishmael, “…a great nation” (Gen 21:17-21) – Ishmael was an ancestor of Mohammed, who is also descended of Abraham as Christians and Jewish Faiths claim makes them chosen of God. I was hoping for an end to the refusal of our so-called “Christian Nation” to accept that others are also God’s beloved and chosen children who just happen to worship him in a different but similar manner and call him by the name their native language translates as God – or Jehovah – or Yahweh – or Allah..



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paagle

posted March 4, 2008 at 7:16 pm


The news today is that Obama agrees with Bush that we should not negotiate with the democratically-elected Hamas officials about the Palestinian crisis
Hamas’s electoral victory does not make them viable negotiating partners. In fact, that Palestinians elected a group whose foundational belief is the annihilation of Israel goes some way to justifying harsh Israeli actions on the general populace. Of course, that Hamas’s election was primarily about PA corruption rather than negotiations with Israel is an important mitigating factor. Still, if people A elect party Y that calls for the death of people B, people B are under no obligation to roll over and die for A & Y.



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Maura

posted March 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm


Attention paagle,
You conveniently forgot that is was your people B (Zionist Israelis) who stole the land from people A (native Palestinians). Since 1948 the Palestinian people have been seeking justice by fighting the Zionist to get their stolen country back. Criminal nations like Israel have no rights to defend by definition- they are criminal. They want to claim the land is theirs because they are the “chosen” people. Do you have some land that I could aquire for the same bogus “chosen people” scam? Please! Don’t be a naive sucker to Israeli political propaganda.



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Rose

posted March 10, 2008 at 11:20 am


I have read all the comments, I keep up on the news, I am a Muslim, all I see are disagreements. In the Holy Quran as well as in the Holy Bible God has said judge not lest ye be juged and also has admonished us to love one another and not be bickering and fighting over trivial matters. Politics and religion do not go hand in hand nor should they. USA was founded on religious freedom but the founding fathers placed a seperation of church and state meaning that the persons religious beliefs should not enter into campaign or into the way the government is ran. Yes, its sad that people are saying what they say but its just words and words are used to create an emotion and that emotions is something we are in charge of for ourselves. It can be used to make us angry or to make us happy but we are in charge, dont let someone else take your personal power by allowing their own sentiments to rule how your day will go, we’re all entitled to an opinion but that doesnt mean the others have to live by that opinion just means they spoke their mind. Please dont fall into the trap of juding or feeling your being judged, only God can judge. Personally I do not believe that any of the people who are running for office should be put in that place. Level heads and thinkers should have this job especially now with the concerns and cares of the world (which has gone mad) are so great. Leave the fighting to soldiers, hope for a better today and make a better tomorrow and pray for an end to all wars and conflicts. This is my two cents worth.



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peter griswold

posted March 10, 2008 at 5:18 pm


Islam, is one religion that needs to experience more monernity.
For an example let me digress and use the anology of the parent and the offspring. When the child is a toddler, a spanking might be needed to teach a lesson. As the child grows and matures the spanking becomes less and less and very soon becomes non physical. Humans and God, our creator, have a somewhat similar relationship where in ancient times God showed displeasure with more corporal punishment. Today societies and most religions are more matured and punishment usually is more humane than ancient times.
Some religions can still judge that a minor thief should lose a hand for stealing something minor, or a sexual victim should endure punishment for causing temptation.



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Eva Marie Evans

posted March 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm


When will we as Americans understand that this is NOT a Christian country? This is a country built on the premis that everyone has the right to his/her own beliefs! Who cares what religion Barak Obama is? Will he be fair to all of us should be the question.



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saqi

posted March 14, 2008 at 4:41 am


I agree….the consitutiton(sp?) clearly states that citizens of this country have the right to worship as they wish. It is horrifing to me as someone who has chosen a religon for myself that Obama’s past is a subject of fear.
Muslims, stand up and defend your religon….you lose people of your flock because you stay silent to the Osama bin Ladins but issue fatwas for cartoons. Why is there no fatwa on Osama? Why is there not any fatwa on the atrocities that muslims commit on muslims??? Why do you find offense to a woman standing up for her rights, but are silent to the Taliban and Al-Qiaeda?? Why???
Every organized religon has corrupt elements…and all “believers” need to either find there way in the religon or get out….so if one decides on one religon versus another, why is it even a subject to debate?? If we are truly a land of the free and home of the brave, then we only need to focus on Obama’s influence on the USA??
Obama appears to inspire a great deal of young people, and he is positive in his message….now you may think he is an agent of the devil or a genuine good person, put your money where your mouth is. Vote.



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O. Blivius

posted March 14, 2008 at 9:14 am


I voted for Obama in the California primary. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton because her past-demonstrated positions on “family-life” and health insurance are so extreme. Indeed, Obama’s stance on the (lack of) rights of the unborn chills me to the bone. It was, quite literally, “a choice between evils”.
Actually, no one currently running for president represents my values. This does not surprise me; no candidate has ever represented my values. I am unabashedly Pro-Life: anti-death-penalty; anti-war; anti-abortion; anti-stem-cell-research; anti-euthanasia. The only things G.W.Bush did right were to oppose partial-birth abortion and stem-cell research. The rest of his presidency has been a catastrophe.
I have met John McCain and I believe that he is a very nice man. Were he not so committed to continuing with that ill-conceived debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would probably vote for him. In spite of the fact that Mike Huckabee’s faith is consistant with my own, I could never have voted for him. My pastor voted for him in the primary; while I have the utmost reverence and respect for my pastor, we agree to disagree on many political issues.
This is what I recommend for all Americans: believe what you will and allow others the freedom to do the same. I think it remarkable that, after 200+ years of American politics (including the administrations of some REAL IDIOTS) we are still here as a nation–and as a world. That fact alone should provide all of us with more than a modicum of assurance. Neither Reagan nor Bush managed to blow up the world; chances are that none of the current slate of candidates will succeed either. The sun will go on shining and the world turning under it for as long as G*D wills them to. Fear not.
I agree with those who have posted that “religion” should not enter into one’s choice of a presidential candidate. However, I do not reserve that category for only the aforementioned Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Humanist adherents. We also have a great many Pagans here in America. Most of those appear to worship the same god: America. Worship what you will. If that worship informs your political values, that is probably inevitable. However, your political PRACTICE ought not to involve OVERT religiosity. That will serve only to DIVIDE us a a people when what we need now more than ever is to UNITE as a nation.



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Al-Bahr Kwerobina Basheer

posted March 22, 2008 at 1:13 am


Obama’s roots come from Africa (his father) so what is the problem…He is just respecting his father’s roots…so leave him alone



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MZ.T

posted March 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm


if we are more spiritual in our beliels and not so religious we wound not be having this conversation



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Amena Nazir

posted April 3, 2008 at 12:35 pm


I don’t think I will vote for Obama –



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mahony

posted April 9, 2008 at 1:31 am


Bismellah Al Rahman al Rahim
Hold to forgivness. Command what is right. But turn away from the Ignorant..Ameen..This is a phrase from The Holy Koran..
I hope this will get to the attention of Sen. Obama..



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Maura

posted April 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm


I will support Nader at this time because he is the only one not cowing down to the Israeli lobby.



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Yahya

posted April 11, 2008 at 1:03 am


Barack Obama is a person who basically never was taught Islam by family.
His father was a athiest, so if anyone is an apostate its his father since his grandfather was Muslim, i dont know if his father was taught either. So Barack, religion wise no problem to vote for him as a Muslim.
But politics wise he is a very dangerous candidate. According to him everything is on the table with Iran. He will send more troops Afghanistan. He is basically guaranteeing that Pakistan that he will send troops to Pakistan. He doesn’t want to fully leave Iraq.
He buys into this war on terror.
The fact of the matter is that if any of these senators felt the iraq war was wrong they had and still have the ability to end it…
I advise Muslims to forget about the 2 monopolized parties and start searching for third party and independent candidates…
so far the one i have found to be most hands off and preferring to conversation and not war or nuclear strike to a Muslim country is Mike Gravel.
and does of you who peeped him in the early democratic presidential debates know hes no joke. He has also token the courage to leave the party denounces its lack of effort towards solutions and now is part of the libertarian party..
He doesn’t buy into the support Israel nonsense, he denounces aipac and instead is indetifying himself with jews who want peace!
he even said that if he is president he will make sure israel doesnt attack iran…
He speaks out on the neo-con plan to war through the muslim world to gain control of oil, he knows about afghanistan + iraq + iran + pakistan + saudi arabia + syria means USA dominance over oil!
Hes not into theocratic governing and hence none of those christian right nonsense. Although a proud unitarian hes somewhat secular but considering this country is not a Muslim country why should that matter he wants peace not confrontation, hes more concern with pleasing democracy than pleasing religion.
He had the sanity to say to ask what is the issue with supporting hezbollah and hamas, who he sees as those whove the people in power not terrorist!!!!!
And last but not least he realizes a war on terror is a war for a very very very long time since terrorism has been with us since the beginning of human history.
there is much much more
do some research on him and check him out on youtube.com !!!



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Jamala

posted April 11, 2008 at 10:57 pm


It was my impression that his country should not discriminate against race,religion,or creed. Where is it written in the constitution that you have to been a Christian to be a president. If that were the case then why were so many wars started by the Christian rule of this country. One’s decision in his belief in GOD is of a personal and sacred nature. Mr. Obama has a right to have his own belief and should not be jeopardized by it. He also should not cut his nose to spite his face. Pay attention to all religions and their followers and above all, we all have the strong beliefs which go far more than what this country has. God bless and As-Salaam-Alaikum



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mark weaver

posted April 24, 2008 at 1:53 am


I am a realist, cant be proven by science (as society is by demand)than it isnt so, or is so what ever you have proven or disproven, brought up in an prodistant home (by force) told to believe and have faith and dont question it, it goes against every thing our science today and what an semi intellient person would believe, does Islam have fundamentals and stories about your god that do not go with modern provable methods ,regarding the possabity that they happened?



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mary

posted May 7, 2008 at 6:43 am


I belive it will be bad if he ;Obama wins.and if people don’t see it,well it is just like the Clinton’s people are more worried about what bill did than what good he done for the people and for his country.the man telling you right to yor face what he is ,but because you don’t like Mrs Clinton well lets vote for Obama and they are sitting back and laughing at Americans,look what happan because people did not like Kerry.we don’t like him or his looks so lets vote for Bush and look at the mess we are in because of him.the man is telling you who he is but you still want him because you don’t like the Clinton’s at lests they are Americans.I can’t belive people want a man who turned his back on the american flag,won’t wear the flag pin.people better put and american in the white house. he has everyone looking at the Clinton’s.were dose his money come from,don’t get so wrap up in change and put the wrong person in white house.do you want Muslims takeing over the United States of American? GOD BLESS AMERICAN AND KEEP US SAFE.fOUR YEARS A SEN AND COMES OUT WANTING RUN THE UNITED STATES.We don’t know a hole lot about him now do we!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted May 12, 2008 at 4:20 pm


“More specifically, why is Barack Obama’s campaign so intent on snuffing out any connection he has–through his own family or through any of his travels–with the Muslim world?”
I’m pretty sure it’s [the lie that Barack obama is a Muslim] BECAUSE IT ISN’T TRUE!
“When did Muslims become the pariah of politics?”
Just a guess, but I’d say September 11th, 2001. Ring a bell?



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted May 12, 2008 at 4:23 pm


mary,
If “We [i.e. YOU] don’t know a hole [sic] lot about him now do we” after what, 16 months of campaigning, then you just haven’t been paying much attention. That reflects far more poorly on you than on Mr. Obama.



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Robert Moore

posted May 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm


I do not wear an american flag pin, do that make me non american because I chose not to wear one. I think people should be careful about how that take some things that has no beraing on anything and blow it out of context.
Since 9-11, most Americans hate and has a growing fear of Muslims. I do not think all Muslims share the same view as Osama Bin Linden. It has been a proven fact that in this Country you have to prove yourself before anyone will believe in you. Many African Americans have to be twice as good as their white counterparts if they want to acheive or get support from whites in this country.
I also believe that this country is the biggest violators of human rights than any other country. It is no question that other countries view America as a bully.



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