4 readers online now  |  69 million page views
Click here to join Daniel Pipes in Paris, Berlin & Stockholm, Sep. 24-Oct. 1.

Obama's Muslim Childhood

Reader comment on item: Obama's Muslim Childhood

Submitted by Kepha Hor (United States), Sep 17, 2012 at 21:07

Dr. Pipes, you are right to raise questions about the gaps and falsehoods in Obama's autobiography. I, for one, always wondered how the idea that the President was born in Kenya got its start, for I was fairly certain that the election commissions and parties would do their own vetting of potential candidates--and now I know that Obama himself gave birth to the whole "birther" thing, probably to give himself some exotic appeal. Could it be that the same may be why his college records remain sealed (iunlike those of certain other politicians)? Just wondering.

However, I do not think Obama's Muslim childhood is a material issue, except, perhaps, to certain Muslims who may wish to kill him because he is a murtad. For me, the tinny, hesitant mention of the First Amendment by our Secretary of State on the late date of September 11, versus the strident attacks on people like Terry Jones and Baciley Nakhoula re supposed provocations of the Muslim street, are enough for me to wonder about Obama's commitment to the First Amendment (extremely serious).

My guess is that the very young Barry Obama Soetero, who apparently never learned Indonesian fluently, still wanted to "fit in" in his new environment, and, as a healthy boy, may have even been attracted by the "gymnastics" of Islamic prayer. The older Obama, trying to negotiate the academic world of a later era, and the streets of a partly disgruntled African-American community, may well have used his Islamic name and Islamic childhood for credibility. But, given that our President has never met a form of abortion that he would not put his name on the line for, and has "evolved" in his views of homosexual marriage, I doubt very seriously if Barack Husssein Obama, Jr., ever had any adult understanding of Islam at all.

As for the young Obama trying to "fit in", I actually have a certain amount of sympathy for Obama as a child. My family also has some "racial" ambiguity (although I assure you we are human), and as a man older than the President, I know something of the hard and grating edges of some American doctrines of racial identity. It was probably difficult for Obama the child to be growing up the dark-skinned child of a white mother in the 1960's, especially without a father at his side. I myself had an argument with a school principal against the "one box only" rule about my son's "color code" in the supposedly enlightened 1990's. I suspect that even in Hawaii, it may have been a lot harder for the President's younger self.

I believe that a lot of Obama's personality reflects a deep-seated anxiety about his actual identity, and a deep desire to be "in" with the right crowd.

Obama's waffling on his Muslim childhood as the stepson of Lolo Soetero, though, is a confirmation of this. Having long accepted that Americans are "racist" and "xenophobic", his initial insitinct was to deny any Islamic identity, and so he ran his 2008 campaign. He started speaking about it only after he was sworn in as President.

As a Christian, I am bothered by Obama's use of the "Peace be Upon Him" formula when speaking of Jesus Christ, when I believe that we should ask for the peace of the risen, glorified, God-and-Man-in-one-person Jesus upon us. But, again, I don't think that this proves that Mr. Obama is a Muslim. It merely reflects a shallow understanding of both religions, and a desire to "fit in"--only this time, when speaking to a gaggle of Islamic politicians and diplomats.

Now, all this being said, I will probably vote for Romney, even if I think his religion is both silly and cultish (and I'm sure someone thinks the same about mine), and I think that he is another man who may not have a real "core" (his opposition to the Boy Scouts' opposition to homosexual scoutmasters may come from this, given that he had to appeal to "enlightened" Northeastern constituents). However, there are huge issues with Obama that are much, much greater than his trying to fit in in his new Indonesian environment when he was a vulnerable child.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submit a comment on this item


Reader comments (70) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
QUACK [18 words]Catherine ReillyApr 29, 2016 11:36229184
Re. Obama referring to Jesus as "a son of God" [308 words]RickMar 10, 2016 01:18228374
Obama's Apostasy. Is Obama a Christian or a Muslim. [732 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eric ClaessensSep 23, 2015 11:20225338
Correction. [7 words]Eric ClaessensSep 28, 2015 16:32225338
1Obama [28 words]RichSep 23, 2015 11:06225337
4Was Obama's mosque Sunni or Shia? [68 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
BowmanJul 4, 2015 01:53224050
1Obama's conversion from Islam [40 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
S.P.Smith, Ph.d.Feb 22, 2015 09:23221891
59What's really wrong with Obama? A hypothesis [275 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Charles MartelFeb 10, 2015 23:23220985
2"What's really wrong with Obama" [143 words]SEC22Jul 23, 2015 11:58220985
People in glass houses [66 words]Martin CollinsSep 12, 2014 02:47217801
Not quite true [186 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
GretchenAug 13, 2014 16:55217137
Obama may have been Muslim in culture, but never Islam in practice [36 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
FloyminJul 28, 2014 21:02216397
4"I judge a person by the content of their character" M.L.K. [32 words]Phil GreendFeb 2, 2013 13:25203069
1Is there some in the United State Constitution that restricts a person from being president based on his/ her religion? [177 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
UsamahJan 31, 2013 21:38203018
2Question s/b Obama's feeling for Muslims [33 words]AlexDec 11, 2012 17:56201350
1Thank You! [54 words]GregOct 14, 2012 00:10199784
OBAMA IS A MUSLIM [57 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
ANNA LEE COXSep 25, 2012 16:48199162
6Obama is a Muslim - DUH! [169 words]Tom PatriotSep 26, 2012 16:11199162
No, Obama is an EmCee/PeeCee Leftist [140 words]Kepha HorDec 15, 2012 21:35199162
1Muslim president [24 words]moSep 21, 2012 17:02198915
1Does it really matter? [94 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
yuval Brandstetter MDSep 21, 2012 03:54198867
1Vantage point [59 words]yuval Brandstetter MDSep 22, 2012 10:43198867
a purely Islamic turn of phrase never employed by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians. [67 words]Yehuda PochSep 19, 2012 03:43198798
Re-obamas Muslim childhood [96 words]Aminu Abubakar DanmusaSep 18, 2012 17:48198783
3Obama's Muslim Childhood [698 words]Kepha HorSep 17, 2012 21:07198761
5When Was BHO BAPTIZED? Problem Hiding in Plain Sight [120 words]Charles MartelSep 16, 2012 23:53198732
1Not necessarily true [211 words]BowmanJul 4, 2015 02:28198732
1So much truth but so little chance it will be known [98 words]saraSep 16, 2012 18:40198725
1Very Interesting. [29 words]GailSep 16, 2012 17:29198723
1Why is his Arabic first name not suggestive of his having a Muslim background? [61 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
not the midwestSep 16, 2012 15:07198718
1Where is the fabrication? [58 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
CoddeauSep 15, 2012 22:25198703
1amazing obtuseness [6 words]y Brandstetter MDSep 24, 2012 09:09198703
It's Politics [55 words]Barry BlackSep 15, 2012 15:29198696
Jewish religious identity [122 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
zchugSep 15, 2012 10:13198689
1Exactly - but Christianity is NOT transmitted by birth [67 words]Charles MartelSep 17, 2012 23:37198689
A Request for an Analysis of Governor Romney's Beliefs [100 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eben SpinozaSep 18, 2012 09:14198689
A Request for an Analysis of Governor Romney's Beliefs [62 words]Eben SpinozaSep 18, 2012 18:37198689
Are there insignificant denominations of Christianity? [213 words]BowmanJul 4, 2015 03:15198689
4Interesting Research in Menteng [290 words]IndoBillyBobSep 14, 2012 23:36198673
1... the Obama-Muslim Schtick Thing Once Again [81 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Rex BouvierSep 14, 2012 19:09198657
1BHO and his faith [64 words]Steven LSep 14, 2012 16:56198655
1Immaterial [254 words]Larry HunterSep 14, 2012 16:19198654
Heretic [60 words]FlipsideSep 14, 2012 15:43198653
The Syncretic Hypothesis [110 words]John in Michigan, USASep 14, 2012 15:01198651
1As Usual [120 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
K.H. AhmedSep 14, 2012 14:44198650
Once again [61 words]K.H. AhmedSep 17, 2012 14:53198650
7Islamic hypocrisy [59 words]dhimmi no moreSep 17, 2012 19:33198650
Khitān [164 words]K.H. AhmedSep 18, 2012 19:23198650
3Our dear KH and a goat that ate a certain palm leaf [286 words]dhimmi no moreSep 20, 2012 09:06198650
That what you should do [20 words]YahimarSep 21, 2012 14:11198650
1What's your point [228 words]K.H. AhmedSep 24, 2012 06:59198650
2Tablighee bakhwas [128 words]dhimmi no moreSep 24, 2012 20:10198650
You're kidding right [231 words]K.H. AhmedSep 25, 2012 14:22198650
1Islamic twists and turns [31 words]dhimmi no moreSep 25, 2012 17:39198650
Really? [163 words]K.H. AhmedSep 27, 2012 18:35198650
3Denial: A River in Egypt? [213 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
icefalconSep 14, 2012 14:25198646
Visiting Obama's Muslim Background Once Again [112 words]Renee BouvierSep 14, 2012 19:44198646
the psyche of a congenital fabricator [664 words]john w mcginleySep 14, 2012 12:49198640
4Much more important is what Obama let stand in Dreams [318 words]Abu NudnikSep 14, 2012 12:38198639
1I wonder... [101 words]MattSep 14, 2012 20:37198639
OBAMA MUSLIM CHILDHOOD [155 words]samSep 14, 2012 11:58198635
4Liar liar pants on fire [61 words]Yael pedhatzurSep 14, 2012 10:42198632
2The most important piece of evidence [127 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
147DegreesWestSep 14, 2012 09:56198629
3Gratitude for a masterpiece [23 words]Michael Hanni MorcosSep 14, 2012 09:31198625
5Obama's Marxist Background [211 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Edward ClineSep 14, 2012 08:49198620
4So what? [89 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
JaneSep 14, 2012 06:48198617
Did you hear about Kansas? [178 words]JaneSep 14, 2012 21:32198617
4The Artful Dodger Raised to X Power [119 words]Edward ClineSep 15, 2012 08:35198617
Important observations but.... [210 words]Art AltmanSep 14, 2012 04:56198616
Bad? [49 words]BrianSep 30, 2012 09:59198616

Comment on this item

Email Address (optional)
Title of Comments

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.


eXTReMe Tracker

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2016 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes