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Does it really matter if Obama was exposed to Islam as a child in Indonesia?

Reader comment on item: Was Barack Obama a Muslim?

Submitted by Steve Abrams (United States), Dec 24, 2007 at 18:18

Thanks, Mr. Pipes, for another fascinating artilcle about Islam and US politics. But I think that Barak Obama's exposure to Islam as a child and the possibility that some extremist whackos in the Muslim world might see him as an apostate if he were to represent the USA as president is a minor concern at best

I'm actually a big fan and supporter of your work, Mr. Pipes. Like you, I am a friend of Israel (Zionism was part of my upbringing, as I assume may have been the same for you) and an opponent of theocratic governments and religiously-inspired violence, but I think that the man you're supporting for the presidency, Rudy Giuliani, would be an absolute disaster if he were elected. Seriously, we (the USA) need to show the world a more convivial face, and Barak Obama seems like an ideal man for that job.

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm a Democrat, and I'd like to see Obama or Edwards get the nomination. I'd like to see an end to the whole Bush-Clinton dynastic struggle, which reminds me of the rivalries between the Royal houses of Tudor and Stuart. That's not what America ought to be about

I do not believe that Rudy Giuliani's "experience" as mayor of New York is any more relevant to the presidency than is Hillary Clinton's spurious claims to "experience" (by proximity) because of her marriage to Bill Clinton or the current president's supposed "preparation" for office as Governor of Texas and son of a president.

Seriosly, Mr. Pipes! Rudy Giuliani had an admirable career as a prosecutor in the 1980s and he was a pretty good mayor during the 90s, but he's not presidential material - he aint exactly charismatic, he has certainly not exemplified "traditional values" in his personal life, he has an undemocratic authoritarian leadership style (remember when he tried to deny funds to the Brooklyn museum for showing "blasphemous' art?) his atrocious judgment of character and hidebound decisions (just how crooked was his crony Bernie Kerik and how aware was Rudy of his longtime shady dealings? - and this is the man Rudy recommended to head up Homeland Security? And putting his emergency response headquarters in WTC plaza AFTER the first WTC bombing? That wasn't exactly the kind of thing a prescient terrorism-fighter ought to have done!) his cringe-inducing campaign tactics (phony cell-phone calls from Judy Nathan "interrupting" his stump speeches? Gimme a break!) None of this recommends him for the highest office in the land.

So, please, Mr. Pipes, keep me on your mailing list and continue to write and distribute interesting articles like this one about Obama's negligible esposure to Islam as a child... Giuliani should not be making dark insinuations about the secret recesses of another candidate's personal character, lord knows that video footage of transvestite Rudy (what was the name of his female alter-ego?) is just a couple of clicks away on the internet. In terms of raising suspicions, doing full-on drag acts as an adult has gotta be at least on a par with having unwittingly attended a Muslim school overseas as a little child and dissembling about it now!

--Steven Abrams


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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

My analysis does not look at the person of Obama or his policies, but is intentionally limited to an assessment of his religious background and what that might mean for his presidency.

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