Jan 25, 2007

Obama Hoisted On His Own Petard

One would like to think that Barack Obama's advisors would have the common sense to tell him to be honest and forthcoming with the American people concerning his childhood growing up in Indonesia.

Instead and quite foolishly Obama has decided to go now on the offensive and deny any of the allegations he claims are made against him.

ABC news now reports that Obama will go on a campaign to debunk the madrassa claim allegations

And in debunking the madrassa claim allegations Obama once again lies to the American people and denies that he ever was a Muslim.

"Obama defended his education at "Sekolah Dasar Negeri 04," which roughly translates as government elementary school No. 4 in Indonesia, where he moved at the age of 6 after his mother married an Indonesian man. After two years at the government elementary school, Obama transferred to a Catholic school."

As we reported below, the truth is that Barack Hussein Obama aka "Barry Soetoro" first registered for school at the Franciscan Asisi Primary School on 1 January 1968. He then attended Asisi Primary School for 3 years before finally transfering to Besuki Primary School and then departing to the United States.

Obama didn't transfer to the Catholic school, the transfered from it.

"To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim and is a committed Christian," said Obama's communications director Robert Gibbs in a statement today...[sic]"

Obama's school registration records from Asisi Primary School in Indonesia list his religion as Islam.

Further, Several of Obama's classmates including Emirsyah Satar the CEO of Garuda Indonesia Airlines describe a young Obama as a very religious and devout Muslim.

On 22 January 2007, Emirsyah Satar stated:

"Saat itu, dia memang beragama Islam namun setelah menikah dengan Michelle, dia pindah agama."

The English translation is as follows:

"At that time, he was quite religious in Islam but after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion."

Other classmates of Obama have made similar claims to the Indonesian media, claiming that Obama was very religious and devout Muslim in his youth.

The issue at the moment, quite clearly is not whether or not he was raised as a Muslim or whether he attended a madrassa as a child. While it might be considered a handicap for a presidential candidate in a post 9/11 world, surely Americans would accept that he is now a Christian and no longer a Muslim.

The issue is and the only question Americans need to ask themselves is this:

Is Barack Hussein Obama being honest and forthright with the American people?


  1. Anonymous9:38 AM

    As for whether Obama transferred to or from the Catholic school, that seems to be ABC's mistake, not Obama's. As even the Insight magazine article reported, Obama's book clearly states that he transferred from the Catholic school -- he's not hiding that.

  2. Powell B Cappel9:48 AM

    Yes, Obama is being honest. Besuki Primary is a public school (admittedly one of Indonesia's best). If you are living in SE Asia you will know that Indonesia is a secular nation (unlike Malaysia) and so are it's public schools.

    After two tems of George Bush in the White House, we Americans are already looking pretty stupid. Please don't make it any worse for us.

  3. Anonymous12:10 PM

    the translation from the website you site doesn't say that obama's friend, The CEO says that Obama was a muslim who converted when he got married. It doesn't say that the CEO said that. If you're going to report, report the truth.

    and if you read the translation clearly the reporter seems to emphasise obama's father and grandfather's islam links. So again, report the truth if you're going to report.

  4. Anonymous7:24 PM

    So what exactly is the brouhaha here?

    I mean, I was a practising buddhist for close to 25 years before I became a christian. so am I condemned in some way because of my past?

    This is just beyond stupid and foolish. The America I know is better than this.

  5. "and if you read the translation clearly the reporter seems to emphasise obama's father and grandfather's islam links

    That would be Rony.

    My translation is correct. :-)

  6. So what exactly is the brouhaha here?

    At this point, the issue is simply Obama's denial.

    The facts are quite clear. He was a Muslim. So be honest, admit it and move on.

    It becomes an issue when he claims that he never was.

  7. I can't stand it, you misquoted these two classmates over and over again. Barack Obama did not lie about his past. Please study my comments below very carefully.

    Firstly, Emir said that he has not contacted Barry at all since he returned to the US (at age 10), so there is no way for him to know that Barack "converted" to Christianity when he married Michelle. Also, it was not Emir who made this statement. The statement that "Obama changed his religion when he married Michelle" is made solely by the writer of the article (probably from inference from the fact that he was a Muslim then and a Christian now). It is NOT a direct quote from Emir.

    The detiknet article had a quote from Rony who said that "they often asked Barack to come with them to the musholla (prayer room). He looks funny wearing a sarong". This means that as children Barack's friends often took him along to the musholla. This is very different from saying that Barry himself is a devout Muslim.

    Your quote that Barry was "previously quite religious in Islam" is not found anywhere in the article. You have misquoted both men badly. You also quoted Emir as saying "All the relatives of Barry's father were very devout Muslims". Again he has said no such thing. It was only the writer of the article said that "all of Barry's father's siblings are muslims." That's it, full stop. This is information that we already know. You have manufactured and inserted the words "very devout", out of thin air.

    Your assertions that Emir said that there was "a very religious 'Barry Soetoro', one that was well versed in Islam and liked to recite his prayers" is false and again not stated anywhere in the article.

    Please explain why you are doing this? I am currently assuming good faith in that you either misunderstood the articles or had someone translate the articles for you incorrectly.

    Regarding why Obama was registered as a Muslim, please see my further comments below.

    I am an Indonesian so I have firsthand knowledge of Indonesian public schools. Let us examine the facts. Senator Obama's father was a Kenyan Muslim, although in practice he is an Atheist. His Indonesian stepfather was a Muslim who practiced a moderate brand of Islam common among Indonesians. This is true and Senator Obama himself has pointed this out in his autobiography. While he was six, in Indonesia, being the son of a Muslim stepfather, it was quite likely that his official registered religion would be Islam. This is why, as an Associated Press article pointed out, Senator Obama's religion in the school records as a child in Indonesia was Islam. There is nothing wrong with this.

    Indonesia is a secular nation, but not secular in the sense of complete separation of religion and state as in the US. So in essence you have to pick a religion when filling in forms to enter the school. I have to remind you not to get the wrong impression here. This does not mean that students in Indonesia are forced to be religious. It is just that Indonesians are a religious people, and the accepted practice is that religion should be taught in public schools. Remember that in all public schools in Indonesia, religion is taught (twice a week) to the students, according to his/her own religion , this includes Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. For the Christian classes, a priest may actually be called on to teach. Since Senator Obama registered as a Muslim, it is also likely that he attended the Islamic classes and was taught basic Islamic teachings, prayers, etc. Again, there is nothing wrong with this and this possibility should be openly acknowledged. Obama's former classmates assertions that Obama prayed and went to the Mosque was also most probably true, because he was living in a Muslim environment, both in school and with his stepfather at home. Remember that he was only six years old, a child at the time. And before that he also attended a Catholic school, where he would probably studied the cathecism.

    There is no way that Indonesian teachers at the school would teach six year old students to hate the west or hate people of other religions. Since he was only six, doubtless he has forgotten most, if not all, of the things that was taught in his religion class. However, this experience would still be positive for him because it exposed him to a welcoming environment of Muslim kids who are his friends and classmates. This would allow him, on a personal basis, to be more tolerant and understanding toward Muslims around the world.

    To summarize, Senator Obama was raised in a non-religious household and is now a committed and practicing Christian. There is no reason to believe that he was ever a devout muslim as an adult, or that his becoming a practicing Christian is insincere or calculated. He was baptized long before he entered politics, even before entering the state senate.

    After returning to Hawaii at age 10 he was raised by his mother and grandparents, none of whom are Muslim. It would be a stretch to think that young Barry would stick to his Muslim teachings during that period. He does have Muslim ties as explained above, in addition to an international experience that not many people can claim. All of this should magnify people's estimation of him, not diminish it. I myself am a Catholic born and raised in Indonesia, and my outlook towards Muslims is very different from that of many Americans. To me they are simply friends and family.

  8. I can vouch for Winang's comment. I am Indonesian too and this blog post totally botches the quote from the article.

    I am a Buddhist and I attended public primary school when I was in Indonesia (now I live in Czech Republic).

    We had 2 hours of religious study every week. So during this 2 hours, the classes were split into three for Muslims, Christians and Buddhists. Our religious exams and scores are according to our religious subject.

  9. What clothes did you wear on Friday?

  10. "Saat itu, dia memang beragama Islam namun setelah menikah dengan Michelle, dia pindah agama."

    At the time, he was a MUSLIM but after he married Michelle he changed his religion.

    The only dispute with my translation is the word "memang" which Winang interprets as meaning "indeed".

    The overall context is however correct.


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