Obama Announces, Fine, He’s Really a Muslim
Washington (Reuters) – Reacting to years of right-wing agitation on the subject, President Barack Obama announced today (Wednesday) that, if they insist, fine, he’s actually a Muslim.
At a White House press conference this morning, the President told the assembled reporters that after years of ignoring far-right-wing accusations that he’s really a follower of Islam, it was time to let the truth be known at last. Despite decades of overtly Christian worship and a documented history of Protestant religious associations, Obama finally acknowledged his accusers’ arguments.
Charges of problematic religious associations have dogged Obama since the 2008 presidential campaign, when opponents latched on to his past links to firebrand Christian pastor Jeremiah Wright. Obama said at the time that he repudiated any messages of bigotry the pastor may have espoused, and that he no longer followed Wright.
At the same time, opponents noted Obama’s Arabic middle name Hussein, and adduced it as evidence that he is actually an adherent of Islam, the core texts of which were written in Arabic, as were important texts in other religions in Arabic-speaking lands. Many of the same opponents also insisted Obama was not actually born in the United States, as the Constitution requires of a President, but in Kenya, where he spent time as a young boy. Obama’s birth certificate was issued in Hawaii.
With Hawaii’s confirmation of Obama’s birth certificate as authentic, all but the most extreme accusers refocused on trying to cast Obama as anti-American, based on the assumption that “Muslim” and “American” are concepts that cannot be reconciled. As of 2010, there were approximately 2.6 million Muslim-Americans, according to the Pew Research Center.
With his admission, President Obama might be seeking to take the wind out of his vocal critics’ sails, says Professor Blowe Harde, Political Science Department Chair at Tulane University. “The President is evidently challenging his opponents’ assumption that being a Muslim can have a detrimental effect on one’s American patriotism. He approved the killing of Osama Bin Laden and has consistently maintained a policy of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan to get rid of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants,” but many Americans clearly felt that killing Muslims wan’t enough evidence that Obama himself was not also a Muslim, said Harde.
“Muslims kill more Muslims than anyone else ever has, so sustaining the conflict with Al Qaeda and its ilk is perfectly consistent with how a Muslim would behave,” concurs Blather Skyte, an analyst with CBS News. “Obama must have realized that decimating the terrorist leadership would never sufficiently demonstrate that he wasn’t sympathetic to them.”
The press conference also featured a question-and-answer session with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who revealed that the administration is considering a proposal to announce that Obama is also, in fact, Jewish. Such a measure may forestall objections to the President’s newly-confessed faith from Americans sympathetic to Israel. A Pew Research Center poll found that suspicion of Obama’s policy toward Israel has not shifted meaningfully as a result of the announcement; the researchers explain the negligible effect on the fact that Jon Stewart has yet to weigh in on the story.
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