In the Arena


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The effort to slime Barack Obama has begun in the slimiest possible way. I received the following from an outraged reader, who had received it from a friend:

> Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born
in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black Muslim from
Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white atheist from Wichita,
Kansas. Obama’s parents met at the University of Hawaii.
> >
> > When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father
returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a radical
Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated
to Indonesia. Obama attended a Muslim school in Jakarta. He also spent
two years in a Catholic school.
> >
> > Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He
is quick to point out that, He was once a Muslim, but that he also
attended Catholic school.
> >
> > Obama’s political handlers are attempting to make it appear that
Obama’s introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this
influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned
to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence
over his son’s education. Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama’s
mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Osama was enrolled
in a Wahabi school in Jakarta. Wahabism is the radical teaching that is
followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the
western world.
> >
> > Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when seeking
major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined
the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim
> >
> > Let us all remain alert concerning Obama’s expected presidential

Now, this is nonsense of course. Obama’s stepfather was not a Muslim extremist (among other things, he worked for Shell Oil). Obama attended public school for two years in Indonesia, in addition to the two years he spent in catholic schools–although, as Obama’s staff points out, Indonesia is a Muslim country, so the public schools undoubtedly reflect the dominant relgious culture. The notion that the Obama’s school was a Wahabi madrasa is laughable, given the moderate form of Islam practiced in Indonesia, especially in those days. I should add: that Obama actually spent four years attending local public and Catholic schools in a third world country–as opposed to the U.S. embassy school–should be considered a major advantage for a prospective American President.
Of course, you have to expect this sort of garbage to percolate through the internet. But, as Howard Kurtz points out today, Fox news actually “reported” this–based on spew from Insight, the Washinton Times Magazine. Another case of, “We report, you decide to get sick.” I’d say that Fox owes Obama a full-throated, oft-broadcast apology, delivered by the network’s flagship anchor, Brit Hume.