Muslimism: Questions of Obama’s Faith Are Really Motivated by Racism

According to an Associated Press story published today, Barack Obama has come out preaching about his Christian faith in the wake of a pesky Internet chain letter that tries to characterize him as definitely a Muslim and probably a terrorist in disguise. As the race in South Carolina heats up, Obama is waving his Bible -- not the Koran, mind you -- in response to nasty and false rumors:

"I've been to the same church -- the same Christian church -- for almost 20 years," Obama said, stressing the word Christian and drawing cheers from the faithful in reply. "I was sworn in with my hand on the family Bible. Whenever I'm in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. So if you get some silly e-mail ... send it back to whoever sent it and tell them this is all crazy. Educate."
Obama is referring to a debunked chain e-mail circulating widely on the Internet that suggests he is hiding his Islamic roots and may be a terrorist in disguise. It says he was sworn into the Senate on the Quran and turns his back on the flag during the pledge.
There are some truths in the e-mail's details. Obama's middle name is Hussein. His father and stepfather were Muslim. And he spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, a largely Muslim country. But he attended secular and Catholic schools, not a radical madrassa.
Both co-editor Trish and I have received the e-mail, and both from people who, as Trish says, "should know better." The letter is so mean, nasty and false that the motivation behind sending it can only be racism.

Sure, some would argue that the motivation is fear of terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists, but I would argue that it's a much older fear -- the fear of the black man, of the Other -- but in today's post-9/11 world it can masquerade as something else. I call it Muslimism.

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