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Did Obama consider himself Muslim?

Reader comment on item: Barack Obama through Muslim Eyes

Submitted by John Philips (Japan), Sep 16, 2008 at 21:28

Professor Pipes has produced evidence that other people considered Barack Obama to be a Muslim, but not that Obama ever considered himself to be a Muslim. Therefore I don't think we can say that Obama was lying yet. It is certain that Obama knows something about Islam from having taken classes on the subject while a child in Indonesia, which would certainly be a good thing. I wish the other candidate for president had taken classes about Islam!

However, if we combine the fact that the Indonesian dictatorship used Islam as a pillar of its suppression of human rights, with Obama's claim that living overseas in a dictatorship made him love American freedom more (as shown by his decision to become a Constitutional law professor), it may be that his campaign's discomfort with Muslims stems from mixed feeling of his own about the religion. Of course no political candidate, Democrat or Republican, could today express mixed feelings, much less hostilty, about anyone else's religion, but instead of assuming that Obama is a closet Muslim, the way so many do, we might consider more carefully exactly what he knows about the religion, and how he thinks about it. The reality is likely to be more complex and nuanced than anyone has yet considered, although we may never really know how he really, personally, thinks about Islam.

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