Jerusalem Post Questions Obama's Muslim Childhood
Daniel Pipes at The Jerusalem Post today reported on Barack Obama’s Muslim childhood, something Barack himself denies:
** Obama’s Indonesian family: His stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was also a Muslim. In fact, as Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng explained to Jodi Kantor of The New York Times: “My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.” An Indonesian publication, The Banjarmasin Post, reports a former classmate, Rony Amir, recalling that “All the relatives of Barry’s father were very devout Muslims.”
** Obama’s Catholic school in Jakarta: Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press reports that “documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim” while at a Catholic school during first through third grades. Kim Barker of The Chicago Tribune confirms that Obama was “listed as a Muslim on the registration form for the Catholic school.”
** The public school: Paul Watson of The Los Angeles Times learned from Indonesians familiar with Obama when he lived in Jakarta that he “was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended.” Haroon Siddiqui of The Toronto Star visited the Jakarta public school Obama attended and found that “Three of his teachers have said he was enrolled as a Muslim.” Although Siddiqui cautions that “With the school records missing, eaten by bugs, one has to rely on people’s shifting memories,” he cites only one retired teacher, Tine Hahiyari, retracting her earlier certainty about Obama’s being registered as a Muslim.
** Barack Obama’s public school in Jakarta, Koran class: In his autobiography, Dreams of My Father, Obama relates how he got into trouble for making faces during Koran studies. Indeed, Obama still retains knowledge from that class: Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times reports that Obama “recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them [to Kristof] with a first-rate accent.”
** Mosque attendance: Obama’s half-sister recalled that the family attended the mosque “for big communal events.” Watson learned from childhood friends that “Obama sometimes went to Friday prayers at the local mosque.” Barker found that “Obama occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers.” One Indonesia friend, Zulfin Adi, states that Obama “was Muslim. He went to the mosque. I remember him wearing a sarong” (a garment associated with Muslims).