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I can get you hours of video on Madrasa (Pesantren) activities if you like.....

Reader comment on item: Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam
in response to reader comment: During prayers, they pray, I bet.

Submitted by Muhammad (Indonesia), Feb 5, 2008 at 07:04

As you might already know, 'Fridays prayers' consist of two parts. First the sermon around 30 minutes long (horizontal/social) followed by the prayer ritual (vertical/transcendental) for around 10 minutes.

I'm 2 months older than mr Obama and during he was in Indonesia, Muslims were politically marginalized by then Suharto's regime. Unlike today's sermons which are all about 'corruption is our enemy', it was 'pro' goverment and was all about goverment's programs such as Pancasila and of course 'beware of communism'.

That's when many (not all) kids would go running around, shouting, yelling, play hide and seek, etc..... as the adults were....sleepy.....throughout the +/-30 minutes sermon before the +/-10 minutes praying ritual. Yes, during prayer time....we did pray...while sometimes giggling among us kids....but on some occasions, we missed the prayer completely. Shame on us.

Please read my short comment (http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/119487) regarding the main difference in policies of teaching religion between Public Schools and Catholic schools in Indonesia. In 1967-1970, Mr Obama was registered at the Catholic School as a Muslim so he must have not learnt Islam there.

If in 1970-1971 he was enrolled at the public school as a Muslim, then theoritically, as mr Pipes's original argument, he must have had studied and practiced 'part' of Islam (the curricula was probably about the praying ritual and memorizing the arabic of short surahs read from the latin version of Juz Amma books, etc.).

Was mr Obama enrolled the public shool as a Muslim? Mr Obama's former friend was interviewed on local TV the other day and he said that Barry would go out when Islamic Studies class began. (Note: Here in Indonesia, students study at a fix class and different teachers would come in to teach different subjects). Because most of the public school students are Muslims so we stayed at the classroom, as the Islamic Study teacher comes in, my Christian, Hindu and Buddhist friends would go out of the main class to go study their own religion at different classes. Me learning Christianity during my Catholic school days didn't make me a Christian but gave me alot of positive insight of what Christianity is all about.

The Fox's 'reciting Qur'an at madrasa clip' (at about the "-2:20" to "-2:12" mark) was not shot in Indonesia. Like most people, we eat Pizza, not wear it at the top of our head as hats (meant as a joke, not an insult)....and....we don't use our middle finger to recite the Qur'an either....another different culture.

The ABC's Video was probabbly shot on one Saturday morning, cause every students was wearing the Indonesian scout uniform, a must on every Saturdays. The Muslim pupils must have been learning the praying ritual at the class (not at the Mosque) as an extra curriculum activity which are also only conducted every Saturdays. They were behaving alright, after all, the teacher must have been there and they knew the video would end up broadcasted sometime...somewhere...

Anyways, that video only potrays today's situations. To be fair, research on this issue should focus more on what was the situation like during those years at mr.Obama's public school (only rich kids went to SD Menteng 1) and wether he was attending the Islamic Studies class at the time.

It is very important for US Citizens to have a President that do not tell lies. Not about his past, not under oath, nor about WMD. After 16 years, its about time to have an honest leader.


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