Obama the 'Muslim' and a scary new Pew poll
08/19/2010 - 08:09
James Besser

 There are plenty of horrifying aspects to the new Pew poll showing that 18 percent of Americans now believe – against all the evidence – that President Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March, 2009.

The most obvious: how can democracy function effectively when proliferating new media and a gullible public mean that the crudest, most obvious examples of misinformation and disinformation dominate our political discourse?

But I'd suggest the most disturbing element is this: our growing willingness to use religion as a cipher for our rage and our biases.

A growing number of Americans really, really dislike Obama. So, prompted by bloggers and talk show hosts, they crystallize that rage in the form of a religious accusation: Obama is a Muslim, no matter how much the evidence suggests otherwise. Muslim = bad. So, the theorem goes, Obama = bad. End of discussion.

Instead of debating his economic policies, the war in Afghanistan that is now his and countless other real issues, we focus on a spurious religious accusation meant to stir up primal rage, not because of his policies but because he is allegedly a religious outsider.

I hear a lot of this from the Jewish community, which is even more distressing.

Instead of discussing his Israel policy – which, I would suggest, is a rich topic for animated debate, whether you come from the left or the right – too many of us simply dismiss him with a religious charge that, to some, trumps every other aspect of his presidency. He is a Muslim, so he can't possibly be good for Israel or for America.

Jews, for centuries victims of bigots who used religious accusations to stir up frightened people, should know better. And we should know that this kind of manipulative religious hatred can't possibly be good for the Jews.

 

 

Comments

Check out the ABC interview with George S. where he referenced his moslem faith. Additionally his Cairo speech had words and phrases that only a believing moslem would use. He thinks that the moslem call to prayer is the prettiest sound on earth. He thinks that Nasa's primary mission is moslem outreach. And don't forget how he lines up with the palestinians in a way that makes Jimmy Carter look like David Ben Gurion. And lets not forget the good pastor Wright. Obama says he was never there, never heard a thing. Fine, but he can't have it both ways .
As stated in their report: "The new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life -- conducted July 21-Aug. 5 among 3,003 respondents." That was the opinions of 3,000 people of the 300 million in the USA. Anyone who has access to the Internet, reads newspapers or news magazines, or even carefully watches TV news would know that President Obama in a Christian. He is promoting freedom of religion, as did our Constitution, and trying to avoid bigotry toward Muslims. He probably has more sensitivity to it because he once lived in Indonesia.
The belief that he is a Muslim comes from his own actions - not from talk show hosts. His making the WTC Mosque situation worse (not unlike he made the housing in Jerusalem situation worse) reinforces the perception that even if he is not a born Muslim, he is so supportive that the line is blurred. A friend of my enemy is my enemy....

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