Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Frank Gaffney Spreads Obama-is-a-Muslim Rumor in the Pages of the Washington Times

frank gaffney wing-nut moonie times One of the biggest urban legends of the past few years is the rumor that Barack Obama was raised as a Muslim (variants of this smear are the claims that Obama is Arab and that he was born outside the United States). This canard was first publicized in the Sun Myung Moon-owned (and now-defunct) Insight magazine.

Today in the Moon-owned Washington Times, Frank Gaffney wrote an op-ed in which he make the jaw-dropping claim that "[t]here is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself." Media Matters for America is one of the media watchdogs that have debunked Gaffney's claim (MMFA also cited Gaffney's baseless claims made during the 2008 election about Obama's birth certificate and Gaffney's attempts to link Obama to a "convert to radical Islam" named Khalid al-Mansour).

Tamron Hall of MSNBC addresses the issue:


Kenneth Gordon Neufeld said...

While I certainly don't believe that Obama is a Muslim, I thought that somewhere in the U.S. Constitution there was a separation of church and state. There are many honorable U.S. citizens who actually are Muslims (and who have no sympathy with terrorists). Why should these people not also be eligible for the presidency? It should not be alarming if a presidential candidate is a Muslim believer (or Jewish or Catholic). Only if he was a believer in radical Islamism would this conceivably be alarming. Or, say, if he believed in radical fundamental Christianity, like what's-his-name.

Kenneth Gordon Neufeld said...

Unfortunately I must moderate my previous comment because even though in theory there is nothing wrong with a believer of any faith vying for the U.S. Presidency, in practice, the public would have a hard time believing that a practicing Muslim or Jewish person would be impartial in handling U.S. relations to Israel, and for good reason. Similarly, if a practicing follower of Sun Myung Moon were to offer himself for the presidency, the public should reasonably have doubts he or she would be impartial in handling U.S. relations to South Korea, also for good reason. I was myself a follower of Moon at one point, and I believed that Korea was God's chosen nation and therefore everything must needs be sacrificed, if necessary, to protect that nation. So unfortunately I must concede that, setting idealism aside, the U.S. public does indeed have to take religious views into consideration when considering a candidate for the presidency, because such views can affect how these candidates will deal with other nations.