January 22, 2007


CNN debunks false report about Obama (CNN, 1/22/07)

Allegations that Sen. Barack Obama was educated in a radical Muslim school known as a "madrassa" are not accurate, according to CNN reporting.

Insight Magazine, which is owned by the same company as The Washington Times, reported on its Web site last week that associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, had unearthed information the Illinois Democrat and likely presidential candidate attended a Muslim religious school known for teaching the most fundamentalist form of Islam.

Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, from 1967 to 1971, with his mother and step-father and has acknowledged attending a Muslim school, but an aide said it was not a madrassa.

...a madrassa is a Muslim school and, as Lawrence Wright reports in The Looming Tower, something like 90% of all Muslim schools in the world are funded by the Sa'uds so that they can spread their peculiar brand of Islam, Wahhabism. None of that means that Senator Obama was attended a "radical Muslim school," but those would appear to be CNN's words, not Insight's or the Clinton campaign's.

Hillary's team has questions about Obama's Muslim background (Insight, 1/16/07)

An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.

"He was a Muslim, but he concealed it," the source said. "His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign."

When contacted by Insight, Mr. Obama's press secretary said he would consult with "his boss" and call back. He did not.

Sources said the background check, conducted by researchers connected to Senator Clinton, disclosed details of Mr. Obama's Muslim past. The sources said the Clinton camp concluded the Illinois Democrat concealed his prior Muslim faith and education. [...]

The sources said the background check concerned Mr. Obama's years in Jakarta. In Indonesia, the young Obama was enrolled in a Madrassa and was raised and educated as a Muslim. Although Indonesia is regarded as a moderate Muslim state, the U.S. intelligence community has determined that today most of these schools are financed by the Saudi Arabian government and they teach a Wahhabi doctrine that denies the rights of non-Muslims.

Although the background check has not confirmed that the specific Madrassa Mr. Obama attended was espousing Wahhabism, the sources said his Democratic opponents believe this to be the case--and are seeking to prove it. The sources said the opponents are searching for evidence that Mr. Obama is still a Muslim or has ties to Islam. [...]

The sources said Mr. Obama spent at least four years in a Muslim school in Indonesia. They said when Mr. Obama was 10, his mother and her second husband separated. She and her son returned to Hawaii.

"Then the official biography begins," the source said. "Obama never returned to Kenya to see relatives or family until it became politically expedient."

In both of his autobiographies, Mr. Obama characterizes himself as a Christian--although he describes his upbringing as mostly secular.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2007 8:21 PM

Doncha think there's gonna be a swiftboat-like clarification of "Obama, the Early Years." Should be quite entertaining.

Posted by: erp at January 23, 2007 6:21 PM


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