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First Read is an analysis of the day's political news, from the NBC News political unit. First Read is updated throughout the day, so check back often.

Chuck Todd, NBC Political Director

Mark Murray, NBC Deputy Political Director

Domenico Montanaro, NBC Political Researcher



Obama asked about connection to Islam

Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2007 4:22 PM by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under: ,



From NBC/NJ’s Aswini Anburajan
At a stop at Smoky Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa, Obama sat down to eat some pumpkin pie with four local women and ended up having to explain how he was not a Muslim.

An older woman seated at the table asked Obama to explain his Muslim heritage, to which the candidate replied, "This is something that keeps on being misreported, so I’m glad you asked me."

Obama was referring to an e-mail chain accusing him of being a Muslim with an intent to undermine the United States. Early this year, false reports also circulated that he had attended a madrassa as a child. Obama explained his connection to Islam in this way:

"My father was from Kenya,” he said, “and a lot 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’ve always been a Christian. The only connection I’ve had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father’s side came from that country. But I’ve never practiced Islam."

More: "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. But what I do think it does is it gives me insight into how these folks think, and part of how I think we can create a better relationship with the Middle East and that would help make us safer is if we can understand how they think about issues."

"But I'm a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ and have been there 15 years," Obama added.

But the woman who asked the question still wasn't satisfied. She asked Obama to "define what a Christian is."

"Somebody who believes in Jesus Christ as our lord and savior," the senator responded.

"I'm so glad to hear that," she said.

Any other discussion of religion was quickly put to a close by campaign staffers, who ushered in a ruddy-cheeked little girl to talk with Obama.

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Looks like Hillary's dirty tricks are working for her, how many people will actually get the answer to the question of whether or not Obama is a Muslim.  Just throwing the question out there works for her because so many people are gullible.  Many times on the MSNBC boards I have read people claiming they could never vote for Obama because he is a Muslim.  What a shame that Hillary's campaign has sunk so low.
i'm glad someone asked instead of just saying they were going to believe the lies.
Thanks to Bob Kerrey, one of Hillary's henchmen,  Obama is having to answer questions like this. Sounds like it was a lovely exchange and possibly, he was able to clear this up, once and for all. Hope it is replayed often on Iowa TV and covered in the papers. Thanks for sharing it here!  
Any other discussion of religion was quickly put to a close by campaign staffers, who ushered in a ruddy-cheeked little girl to talk with Obama.

Just like all the others, his handlers do NOT want any unfavorable press this close to the caucus - so what makes him so "new and fresh"  uh, NOTHING - Just another phony with no substance. He likes to tout all his "advisors" - just like Bush did in 2000.  We all know where that put the country!

HILLARY '08
Either Hilliary is trying to exploit this stuff
or some Nazi /KKK types..Osama is a product of
two different cultures who appears to understand
both,,,this is good,,,it is not negative,,,

exposure to other kinds of people or other types
of religion is not necessarily negative,,,
Either Hilliary is trying to exploit this stuff
or some Nazi /KKK types..Osama is a product of
two different cultures who appears to understand
both,,,this is good,,,it is not negative,,,

exposure to other kinds of people or other types
of religion is not necessarily negative,,,
Barack Hussein Obama

“A quarter of his own supporters think he’s not qualified to be president.”

Barack Hussein Obama   lack of experience to be President.Why he dont use His full name????

It's so embarrassing that he is forced to keep doing this.  Wake up, America.
If Obama had jewish ancestry, these questions would have been labeled as antisemitic. Have we degenerated to muslimhatred like the jew-hatred of Hitler days in America? I hope NOT. We need the 1,5 billion muslims to establish democracy and freedom in the world. Fighting them will destroy us more than them.
If Obama had jewish ancestry, these questions would have been labeled as antisemitic. Have we degenerated to muslimhatred like the jew-hatred of Hitler days in America? I hope NOT. We need the 1,5 billion muslims to establish democracy and freedom in the world. Fighting them will destroy us more than them.
Re #1.  I don't think that people won't vote for Obama because they think he his a muslin......I think they won't vote for him becasue he his black and we are not ready for a balck cheif of staff. Maybe he can try again in about 25 years and see what happens.
It looks to me that Obama was born a Muslim, just as you were born a Christian, or born a Jew, or a Hindu or a Buddist. When you reach full age you can renounce one religion for another, but it's different for a Muslim. Amuslim who converts to another religion is then charged with apostacy. I don't know if Obama has ever renounced Islam or is just riding with the two religions. If he hasn't renounce Islamthen he would still be a Muslim in the eyes of Islam, but if he did or does now he would be accused of apostacy and the penalty is death for rejection of Islam.
dear des moines.. his father was islamic, had an islamic funeral, as was reported when he died.
yet barak runs in shame from this.

It's not that his dad was islamic,that's no big deal, it's that barak lies about it.
Congratulations, Hillary.   After throwing enough of your filthy mud, you have managed to smear Barack Obama.

Hillary is Hillarious.

Barack '08
Juicy Lucy, if that is your real name!
You again.   As I said before, YOU are the one who's not ready for a black president.

I.W.,
Technically speaking from an Islamic perspective, Barack Obama was born a Muslim.  Islam passes down from the father's side.  HOWEVER, he was not raised Islamic.  He was raised by his mother, who is Christian.
In Judaism, the religion  is considered by Jews to pass down from the mother's side.  It's a religious-centric law.   Imagine if a Muslim man and a Jewish woman married, and weren't shot to death by their parents.   The poor children would be screwed!  One family would say he's "this", the other side would say he's "that".   It'd be like mixing matter with anti-matter, pasta and antipasta.  Barack Obama was RAISED by a Christian, he learned nothing about Islam.   He formerly converted to a different church, so no, technically he is not a Muslim even by Muslim standards.
It's sickening and totally crazy for so-called christians to lie with their eyes wide open and with grinning teeth about Obama's faith. They know deep in their heart of hearts that the guy is a christian, and the christian religion tells them not to lie but they are lying about Obama because they hate him. Seriously, if Obama's ancestery was jewish, all hell would have broken loose with loud claims of anti semitism. Its pathetic that responsible people are sitting down whilst this nonsense is being  peddled around. Those of us who know the truth will vote for him regardless of all the lies being thrown around
It's sickening and totally crazy for so-called christians to lie with their eyes wide open and with grinning teeth about Obama's faith. They know deep in their heart of hearts that the guy is a christian, and the christian religion tells them not to lie but they are lying about Obama because they hate him. Seriously, if Obama's ancestery was jewish, all hell would have broken loose with loud claims of anti semitism. Its pathetic that responsible people are sitting down whilst this nonsense is being  peddled around. Those of us who know the truth will vote for him regardless of all the lies being thrown around
Love Obama, He gives us so much hope in the future of Our Great Nation.

LIKE EVERY OTHER RARE TALENT, MANY EXIST THAT WANTS TO SHOOT HIM DOWN. JFK was shoot, so was MLK, even Reagan.

I'm not suprised to see so many trying to shoot down this rare talent with their hateful, unthoughtful and fanatical spews.

They invoke, his kindergarten essays, admitted youthful indiscretions, attack his faith, whats next? His race?

( for the record Obama is a Christian and there are so many good muslims in this country)  
Love Obama, He gives us so much hope in the future of Our Great Nation.

LIKE EVERY OTHER RARE TALENT, MANY EXIST THAT WANTS TO SHOOT HIM DOWN. JFK was shoot, so was MLK, even Reagan.

I'm not suprised to see so many trying to shoot down this rare talent with their hateful, unthoughtful and fanatical spews.

They invoke, his kindergarten essays, admitted youthful indiscretions, attack his faith, whats next? His race?

( for the record Obama is a Christian and there are so many good muslims in this country)
Dear Dover,

the issue at stake is that it shouldn't and oughtn't matter what religion one has. Romney is a mormon, mormons are polygamous, Huckabee is a Christian, he opposes condoms, etc etc. What's more important is..can the candidate give us back perspective after the dark years of Bush...can the candidate give priority to our interests instead of Israels for example...can the candidate mend Medicare instead of fighting trillion dollar wars based on Israeli lies about wmd...etc etc...can the candidate give back America's future to our people..THOSE are the important questions, not these hatemongering muslim questions...
Love Obama, He gives us so much hope in the future of Our Great Nation.

LIKE EVERY OTHER RARE TALENT, MANY EXIST THAT WANTS TO SHOOT HIM DOWN. JFK was shoot, so was MLK, even Reagan.

I'm not suprised to see so many trying to shoot down this rare talent with their hateful, unthoughtful and fanatical spews.

They invoke, his kindergarten essays, admitted youthful indiscretions, attack his faith, whats next? His race?

( for the record Obama is a Christian and there are so many good muslims in this country)
he went to the same school that the terriosts go to till he was ten, do you remeber the boy about ten asking him a question? what would he do about terriorist attacking our country?he finally gave an answer but not the correct one-after 9-11- the word was the next attack would come from the inside- what better way than from the white house?he is not what you folks think he is
I don't really care if we elect a muslim, or a black man or a white woman, or a black woman, or a homosexual, or a cripple - which we did with FDR - I'm a Democrat who believes the person best suited to the job should be doing it.

That said, I don't care about his muslim heritage, but I know enough people out there in the good ol' U.S. of A will care, and the Republicans will make sure they keep caring all the way up to election day.  He won't be elected.
He is not a muslim but check out the church he belongs to and the belief they have about caucasians. You notice he doesn't mention this. His church pushes an agenda against caucasians.
Final word.  Obama is a Christian.  Was raised by his white mother and grandparents, his father was not very religious and left the family when Obama was a baby.  He saw his father only once on when his father returned to Hawaii.  Get it thru your brains, promoting fear of a black man is not a value of the Democratic party.  Stop acting like racist republicans or if you can't just go and join them!
Alonzo put the situation perfect.  A product of two cultures.
He is a product of his father who lived in a muslim country and even though was an atheist, his family practices.
He is a product of his mother who is American and christian.  He is also a member of a protestant church.
When you are from two different cultures you can understand the part you are not with everyday.  I am half french.  I have alot of sympathy for the country and am interested in things about france.
But, I was born American and am American.
Why is this so hard for people to understand?
But, I will tell you that if you come from two different cultures you do get a perspective that those who do not have.
You just see it different and understand certain things.  
OBAMA is a Christian.
There was a time when I was, Look forward to hear the wisdom of Bill Clinton. His wife has never impressed me. the only reason I voted for her in New York was because of Bill Clinton. She has lied to the people in New York and in reality the only Senator that we have in New York  State is New York Senators,Charles Schumer
There was a time when I would Look forward to hear the wisdom of Bill Clinton, now he reminds me of Bush. His wife has never impressed me, she told New Yorker that she would represent New York and She has Not. The only reason I voted for her for the US Senate to represent New York was because of Bill Clinton. She has lied to the people in New York and in reality the only US Senator that we have in New York is US Senators,Charles Schumer. To me this man is a winner, he will always have my vote.
Some of you people are fools. The amount of hate spewed by IW, Paul, Dover is the real problem. These are the same people that want war but never enlist in the US Armed Forces. And another thing, how many people on the street would know any of the candidates' whole name without looking it up? And stop the birthright BS unless you can back it up. I'm tired trying to reason with 12 yr old posters. SO STFU.

Well, so one of Sen. Clinton's goals for the presidency is "to restore America's leadership in the world."

So what is it that is happening?  Among the elements which have made her campaign very unattractive is the "Obama is a muslim" deception.  Leadership?  Lead?  Restore? Where?: In world?

Experienced?  Ready to lead from day 1?  So what is she "saying" (implying)?  That winning the presidency is all important?  It matters not how?  After winning the election she is going to sally forth to restore America's leadership having acquired that position by, inter alia, letting it be known that if the  muslim bogeyman, whether or not appropriately applied, gets her what she wants then that's what it will be. Sounds like more of the same to me.

There are two ways to lead, by inspiration and by example and they are not mutually exclusive.  Security?:  Proffering pretensions of leadership while inappropriately invoking fear and bogeymen begets less security unless one is not looking beyond one's nose.    Not much of a vision is it? ------ not inspiring; bad example.  Trust that the world is not watching in vain for something other than do what we say do, not what we do.
November 12, 2007
OBAMA IS NOT AND HAS NEVER BEEN A MUSLIM
Open Letter from Religious Leaders Supporting ObamaLos Angeles Times: The Rumors About Obama Are "False And Vile." The Los Angeles Times wrote in an editorial, "That the rumors are false and vile is self-evident...Presidential candidates of both parties have a duty to denounce not only the smear against Obama but the bigotry that underlies it." [Los Angeles Times, 12/3/07]

Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim. 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.

Obama's Step-Father Saw Religion "As Not Particularly Useful," But Followed "A Brand of Islam" That Made Room for Animist and Hindu Faiths. Obama wrote in the Audacity of Hope, "When my mother remarried, it was to an Indonesian with an equally skeptical bent, a man who saw religion as not particularly useful in the practical business of making one's way in the world, and who had grown up in a country that easily blended its Islamic faith with remnants of Hinduism, Buddhism, and ancient animist traditions." Obama wrote in Dreams from My Father, "Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths." [Audacity of Hope, p 204; Dreams From My Father, p 37]

Obama Found Faith During Community Organizing Days. "It was at Trinity United Church of Christ here, in the late 1980s, that Senator Obama says he found religion. Raised in a secular household, with ancestral roots running from Islam to Baptist to atheist, Obama had grown up a skeptic. But Mr. Wright's blend of scripture and social action resonated with Obama, then a young community organizer in black neighborhoods ravaged by steel-mill closings." [Christian Science Monitor, 7/16/07]

HE NEVER ATTENDED A RADICAL MUSLIM SCHOOL
CNN Reporter: I've Been to Madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Obama's Indonesian Elementary School Is Nothing Like That. On January 22, CNN Reporter John Vause reported, "I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta, looking for what some are calling an Islamic Madrassa, like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.. I've been to those Madrassas in Pakistan and Wolf, this school is nothing like that." [CNN, Situation Room, 1/22/07]

Indonesian Embassy Says That Besuki School Attended by Barack Obama "Has Never Been an Islamic Madrassah Type of School." A letter from the Indonesian Embassy stated that "Sekolah Dasar Negeri Besuki in Menteng, Jakarta, Indonesia has always been a public school. It has never been an Islamic madrassa type of school." [Letter From Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat to Senator Barack Obama, 1/25/07]

Time's Joe Klein: Attacks On Obama's Elementary School Are "Laughable" Given the Moderate Form of Islam Practiced in Indonesia, Especially in Those Days." Time's Joe Klein wrote, "The effort to slime Barack Obama has begun in the slimiest possible way." Describing attacks on Obama's elementary school, Klein wrote, "Now, this is nonsense of course. Obama's stepfather was not a Muslim extremist (among other things, he worked for Shell Oil). Obama attended public school for two years in Indonesia, in addition to the two years he spent in catholic schools--although, as Obama's staff points out, Indonesia is a Muslim country, so the public schools undoubtedly reflect the dominant relgious culture. The notion that the Obama's school was a Wahabi madrasa is laughable, given the moderate form of Islam practiced in Indonesia, especially in those days." [Time Blog, 1/22/07]

OBAMA IS A PRACTICING CHRISTIAN
Obama Has Been A Member Of Trinity United Church Of Christ For Twenty Years. Monroe Anderson stands up for Reverend Wright's ministry, "For the past two decades, Barack Obama has been a faithful member of the congregation at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ." [Chicago Sun-Times, Monroe Anderson, 3/25/07]

Obama Was Baptized And Attends Church Once a Week When He is Able. In the Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote, "I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized." In 2004, he "attend[ed] the 11 a.m. Sunday service at Trinity in the Brainerd neighborhood every week -- or at least as many weeks as he is able. His pastor, Wright, has become a close confidant." When asked about his decision to be baptized, Obama said "Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth." [Audacity of Hope, p.208, Chicago Sun Times, 4/5/04; AP 6/28/06]

Obama Reads The Bible, Finds Time to Pray On Campaign Trail. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Obama says he reads the Bible, though not as regularly as he'd like, now that he's on the campaign trail. But he does find time to pray. 'It's not formal, me getting on my knees,' he says. 'I think I have an ongoing conversation with God... I'm constantly asking myself questions about what I'm doing, why I am doing it.'" [Chicago Sun Times, 4/5/04]

Obama Held His Personal Bible When He Was Sworn-In As A U.S. Senator. "...Even before the makeshift office was up and running in the basement of a Senate building, even before he raised his hand Tuesday to take the oath of office as the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama was already a political rock star and a celebrated new face in Congress. He arrived Tuesday, his first official day in the Capitol.... In the circles he runs in now, celebrity status is checked at the cloakroom door...When it was finally time to take the oath, he held his personal Bible, as family from as far away as Kenya watched from the visitors' gallery above. His daughters, Malia, 6, and Sasha, 3, in velvet dresses and patent leather shoes, bounced in their chairs when he looked up and waved." [Los Angeles Times, 1/5/05]

http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/category/
"ERZUAH SIAM (Sent Saturday, December 22, 2007 6:06 PM)" Yup.  I can't add anything to that.
makes no nevermind to me   whether its black white or purple, we need a leader who can take us out of this mess. no more texans  or californians. lets replace this scrawny bush  with a really big tree prefarably an oak.
as a white man that lived for thirty years in oakland california and experiencing racism directed against me firsthand obamas connection with dr wright and principles of Kawaida and kuji salawi frighten the heck out of me .Racists come in all colors if he  was a white man he would be run out of this election in a minute . White separatism is a public facade adopted by white supremacists.Obamas church is run by a black separatist I know its neat hes black and all but wake up !do some research before you get led like a bunch of sheep
AFTER READING THE OLD LADY QUESTION TO OBAMA ABOUT HIS ISLAMIC RELIGION, I FOUND IT "INTERESTING" THE WAY HE SEEMS TO HAVE CONVENIENTLY OMITTED THAT WHEN HE ATTENDED A (CATHOLIC) SCHOOL IN INDONESIA, HE WAS REGISTERED AS "MUSLIM".
HILLARY GETS MY VOTE.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXS_YrYp07Q heres a video of obamas church where The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan received the "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright,Jr. Lifetime Achievement Trumpeteer" award .Farrakhan has made several controversial statements about race, including "White people are potential humans — they haven't evolved yet" Murder and lying comes easy for white people'Louis Farrakhan  is the acting head of the Nation of Islam
Apostacy

What does apostacy mean?
The Obama campaign

With no middle name

Nor talk of cocaine

Is now in the domain

Of political correctness
The older woman should go ask the Clinton Klan about Obama being Muslim. They are the ones that started the gossip. The Clintons have no problem using racism as a wedge issue.
People, i see the support for obama and i also see the discord people are feeling towards the man, me personally i think he is the only person to change the look of america in the eyes of everyone in the world. i am a military member stationed overseas in japan right now. i see more soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines going to the desert day in and day out.
our way of thinking has to change. the way we choose our leaders have to change. dont listen to the media.
the media views are skewed in so many different directions that news is basically opinions. research the man yourself, watch his speeches live if possible or on youtube. read his books. be educated about being for or agains obama. i believe next year there will be a historical turning point in america and i can't wait to be part of it.

OBAMA 08
Erzuah Siam:  As a Jew, I agree completely.  I must add that we can thank the Hillary campaign for all of this controversy.  What a cage of slime throwers this HRC team represent.  If the American people are wise, they'll realize the fool for which they're being played, by participating in this unveiled (no pun) racism.  We are so much better than that.  And if Hillary proves that we aren't, that we are indeed, as racist as she and Bill have tried to show us to be, then shame on all of us!  This tawdry Republican technique is exactly what we are trying to distance ouselves from.
Obama '08
God, protect me from your followers!

They are hypocrites and do not follow your teachings whatsoever!
"I went to school.  But I didn't practice."

So he did go to a madrassa?  Maybe not a fundamentalist one, but there are reports that there was religion taught in the PUBLIC school he went to.  When he was impressionable, as a young child.
Let me get this one right.
Obama's father and grand father were Muslims but
Obama's mother was a Christian.
Strike 1 Because of his mixed religious heritage.
Obama is a Christ loving Christian
Strike 2 The radical muslims hate him because he accepts Jesus Christ who was a Jew.
Obama is a black man.
Strike 3 Those racist people who don't like blacks
hate him because he's the wrong skin color.
I like Obama he's got guts.

Paul your post is disgusting.  Hilliary Clinton should be ashamed of what she is doing, but then again she would have to have a moral compass in the first place to even know when she does wrong.  You know that Senator Obama is a Christian and has been for a long time.  The fact that you relish in the fact that he has to confront the false and vile rumors Senator Clinton and her supporters have been putting out goes a long way in showing your true colors.  You are a slave to Hilliary, not a patriot of your country or even your party.  Unless and until you admit that these rumors are false, I will not retract my above characterization of you.
I agree with James b, when the Cherokee Nation was accused of bigotry California's senator Diane Watson and   the black caucus group played the racist card against my northern American Indian brothers. I a Pocomam member of Salvadoran Mayan, angered at how much political clout African Americans have in Turtle Island. If the person in question, would have been White or American Indian, he would have been pointed out with impunity. it is time that the American public denounce any form of separatist groups. It seems ironic for me to be talking about African Americans; since, Native American are disbursed throughout the states; yet my northern brothers have legal treaty agreements that have been in effect partially, and yet, we are not as assimilated as the African American population. How can a group of people want equality when they themselves want to form their own states, make-up feel good history, and form their own exclusive political parties. Can anyone see the fallacy that the Afro-centric community has.

Please, wake up folks!  
james b --- Obama is half black and half white. The only racists i see in this blog only consider an all-white person as white....would some one who is half Irish and half German be considered as only of one half or the other? Get real you right wing bigots, the man is a Christian man of 2 different cultures who has the unique advantage to see both sides of the equation, to BE OF multiple experiences has to be a benefit. Enter into the 21st century or just crawl back into your holes.....    
***Why he dont use His full name????***
Well Joseph, other than the bad grammar, why should he be expected to use his full name?
Last election how many political signs did you see with George Walker Bush, of John(I don't even know his middle name)Kerry?
Why should Sen. Obama be held to a different standard?
Did you Obama bashers read the above quotation from yesterday? Obama stated that his father was a Kenyan who was not religious and who did NOT practice Islam. His mother was a white woman from Kansas who was a practicing Christian. His father walked out of his life when Obama was a youngster. He was raised by his mother and her parents - all of whom were Christians. Apparently Bob Kerrey's lies are being spread by bloggers here. This is a continuation of the smear campaign being conducted by the Clintons. Iowans are too smart and decent to fall for these tactics.


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