Over the years, much has been made of the fact that American president Barack Obama was born to a Muslim father and attended a Muslim school in Indonesia. Those who object to the “Obama is a Muslim” meme point to the fact that he also attended a Catholic school in Indonesia, was raised by an “atheist” mother and went on to become a Christian.

Obama’s “true faith” has been debated since he began his presidential campaign. His constant pandering to Islam has not helped the perception that he is a Muslim and, indeed, outside of the U.S., millions of Muslims globally evidently believe he is a Muslim, based on the fact that his father was one:

Barack Obama’s father was Muslim and therefore, according to Islamic law, so is [he]. In spite of the Quranic verses explaining that there is no compulsion in religion, a Muslim child takes the religion of his or her father.

The point of course is not that Obama is really a Muslim, because in America he is whatever he says he is. American ideas about such things as choice, religion, freedom of expression – including the freedom to choose your own faith – are different from the rest of much of the world. For us, a man is whatever religion he wants to practice, or not practice. But for Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim.

“For Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim.”

One of Obama’s brothers, Malik, is said to be quite devoutly Muslim and committed to the cause of spreading Islamic law in Kenya and elsewhere. Obama himself, however, engages in non-Islamic behaviors such as consuming alcohol and pork, but, then again, so too do many Muslims, at least as concerns alcohol, including the Saudi king.

Muslim, Christian or Secularist?

While Obama claims Christianity as his religion – cynics suggesting that he did so in order to become elected – what he has to say in his autobiography, written while he was a senator, suggests his views are far broader and more in line with those of secularists like me.

From the quote below, Obama’s mother sounds like me! This comment from the POTUS is encouraging, but I wish he had gone in that direction, rather than pandering to one violent faith with all manner of inaccurate statements.

“For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.”

“I was not raised in a religious household….

“For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.

“This isn’t to say that she provided me with no religious instruction. In her mind, a working knowledge of the world’s great religions was a necessary part of any well-rounded education. In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology. On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites. But I was made to understand that such religious samplings required no sustained commitment on my part–no introspective exertion or self-flagellation. Religion was an expression of human culture, she would explain…

“In sum, my mother viewed religion through the eyes of the anthropologist she would become; it was a phenomenon to be treated with a suitable respect, but with a suitable detachment as well.”

–Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope (316-319)

“I was not raised in a religious household.”

Would that Obama could riff on mythology, instead of empowering Islam at every turn! Indeed, we have THIS very serious problem with the man: “Awkward: Group embraced by Obama hit by Canadian government for terror support.” This ISNA organization Obama is pandering to relentlessly is under investigation in Canada for terrorism support. Obama’s never met an Islamic organization he didn’t love, it appears.

His mother’s views were a step in the right direction at least. Mr. Obama, there are hundreds of millions of secularists globally who would like to see you go in that direction, as your mother wished, rather than the one you have been headed in all over the Near/Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.