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Monday, February 25, 2008

Who told USA Today that Obama's Muslim outfit is not Muslim?

It looks like USA Today (and Anne Althouse) need to issue corrections. USA Today claims that Obama's Kenya photo (right):
...sparked snarky headlines in many conservative blogs about the supposed "Muslim" outfit (which it was not)...
But the outfit is Muslim (verified yesterday by Sweetness and Light, Astute Blogger, and the accused Gateway Pundit).

Anne Althouse, subbing for Instapundit, swallows the USA Today disinformation and incorporates it into her editorial line:
SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. The Clinton campaign stooped so low circulating a picture of Barack Obama in African dress.
What makes the story significant is that the garb is Muslim, not just African. Althouse was not calling it shameful to circulate the photo. Her "SHAME, SHAME, SHAME" headline is facetious, making fun of both the Obama and Clinton campaigns for accusing each other of shameful behavior. Althouse's error is in buying the USA Today cover-up of the one fact in the story that needs to be taken seriously, and on that basis presenting the whole thing as much ado about nothing. I don't visit Instapundit to find whitewashes of important information. Protect the brand!

The Muslim garb DOES matter

Obama's early childhood was Islamic. His father and his step-father were both Muslim . Obama was taught Islam with the other Muslim children at the Catholic school he attended, and he attended mosque. Today, Obama's nominally Christian pastor and spiritual advisor is a supporter of Nation of Islam leader and militant racist Louis Farrakhan. In return, Farrakhan enthusiastically supports Obama. At the same time, Obama wants to hold unconditional talks with Iran and Syria, without telling us what he wants to talk about.

[Obama's explanation for unconditional talks:
If we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time.
He is talking specifically about meeting with our enemies. It is Ahmadinijad and Assad who Obama does not see America as standing above at this point in time. My take on this is severe.]

In this context, the Muslim garb DOES matter. Obama most certainly knows that, in the Islamic world, there is no such thing as playing at being Muslim. A Muslim can play at being a Christian. Strategic dissimulation is allowed in Islam (Koran, verse 16.106). But having been raised Islamic as a child, if Obama is not still a Muslim, then he is an apostate, which is a death penalty crime under Sharia law. This is very serious stuff in the Islamic world, and Donning Muslim garb is a serious statement indeed. To pretend otherwise is to say that Obama knows nothing about Islam.

So who told USA Today that the Obama's costume is not Muslim? Did the Obama camp issue this disinformation? Did USA Today concoct it on their own? I sent an email to USA today reporters Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence asking for their source. Will update on any response.

UPDATE: Got an answer from Mark Memmott at USA Today:
We've followed the lead, at this point, of the AP -- which is referring to the garments as "traditional" and "local," and not as Muslim. But I probably should not have said it defintely is "not" Muslim apparel.
Either AP reporter Jim Kuhnhenn did not know that the dress was Muslim, or he was trying to cover it up by describing the dress as “traditional” and “local” instead. If he was trying to fool people, it seems he succeeded in fooling Memmott, who adds in a second email that he has posted an update. Here it is:
Clarification at 3:15 p.m. ET: Earlier, we said the garments were not Muslim. To be fair, though, many Muslims in Somalia would certainly wear such clothes. Obama, however, is a member of a Christian church in Chicago.
That is a pretty half-hearted clarification. This is the costume of a "Somali Elder," and Somalis are 100% Sunni Muslim. The correct statement, from the information that Memmott has at his disposal, is that this is specifically Muslim garb, unless he is just waiting to verify that non-Muslim Kenyans and Somalis (if there are any) don't go around dressed as Somali elders.

The costume of a “Somali Elder” would seem to be a mark of high Islamic status. This is not mufti (civilian clothes), though it might be the dress of a mufti (an interpretter of Islamic law). That ought to be easy enough for a newspaper to clarify (if they just avoid the word "mufti").

UPDATE 2: Realipundit reminds that we have seen this headress before. There really isn't much excuse for reporters not knowing that this is symbolically Muslim attire:

Adam Gadahn, from New Yorker, 9-2-06
Kind of amazing that no one noted the similar headress back in September 2006. The Obama picture was first published just one day before Adam Gadahn's "Convert or Die" video was released (9/2/2008).

Of course there is an argument to be made that donning this costume was an innocuous courtesy, and Obama makes it, but only in the context of this being some generic "traditional" garb, completely eliding the fact that this is Muslim garb:
Everybody knows that whether it's me or Senator Clinton or Bill Clinton that when you travel to other countries they ask you to try on traditional garb that you have been given as a gift.
But Islam is not just any "tradition." It is a tradition that regularly erupts in paroxysm of violence (against which dissenting voices are vanishingly rare) over the merest symbolic gestures. The ascendant claimants to this tradition (the "revivalist" Wahhabists and Kohemini-ists) regularly commit acts of war agianst the United States. Can this really be ignored? Obama does not even have to face the fact of his donning Muslim garb?

Presented with the opportunity to wear traditional Islamic dress, Obama could have said:
I am sorry. Though my father was Muslim, I am a Christian. I don't want to mislead anyone. So thank you for the offer, but it would not be appropriate for me to wear Islamic dress.
If he were confronted today with the fact that he did put on the Muslim garb, he might tell us that something like this is what he should have said. Or maybe he would say that he was being ecumenical, and we would learn that he does not see a big gap between Christianity and Islam. Or maybe he would deny that he saw any religious connotation to the costume at all.

Whatever he would say, we all deserve to hear it. He is running for president after all. It is absurd to say that Obama wearing Muslim garb is not newsworthy.

AP reporter Kuhnhenn engages in other whitewashing as well

Faced with conflicting claims about whether Obama was raised Muslim (Obama denies it, while lots of evidence suggests that he was), Kuhnhenn declares that the muslim ties are "false rumors," without citing any source but Obama himself:
Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ and says he has never been a Muslim, but false rumors about Islamic ties are circulating on the Internet.
That looks like a clear cut case of shilling for Obama instead of sticking to the facts. At the very least, Obama would seem to be differing with traditional Islam on what makes a person a Muslim. He seems to be saying that since he did not practice Islam up to the age of competency, he does not consider himself as ever having been a Muslim. But traditional Islam certainly does. Children raised Muslim, who on reaching the age of competency choose Christianity instead, are threated with death.

In his second email to me, Mark Memmott opined that Kuhnhenn was just being conservative when he only described Obama's dress as "traditional":
I doubt AP was trying to cover up anything or fool anybody. More likely, it was being conservative and only saying as much as it knew.
This "conservative" explanation does not hold up when it comes to Kuhnhenn's blanket dismissal of Obama's Muslim ties. The consistent explanation is that Kuhnhenn is just a typical left-wing hack, filtering the news for maximum partisan advantage.

UPDATE 3: Obama wearing another Muslim hat:

Obama wearing another Muslim hat
The man holding the photo of Barack Obama in this AP shot is supposedly Barack's older brother Malik Obama. The Fez like hats that both are wearing are identified by Sweetness and Light as Muslim "topi or kopiah." This suggests a test for Obama's explanation that:
...when you travel to other countries they ask you to try on traditional garb that you have been given as a gift.
Are there any pictures of Obama wearing traditional garb that is not Muslim?

Phyllis Chesler over at Pajamas Media has heard from Bat Ye'or on the sea change that an Obama presidency would create:
Bat Ye’or told me that if Obama is elected, America will become dhimmified even faster than Europe.



Thank you Astute one. You are right about the cover up. Just saw the 10PM news. They showed the Kenya pic and described Obama as wearing "African" dress, not Muslim dress.

All the AP reporter had to do was omit the facts from his story and he could count on all the other news sources to follow suit.
I, too, was suspicious when the msm referred to the garb as "Somali" while BHO was in Kenya (Somali's represent less than 1% of population). Kenya is 78% Kikuyu (non-muslim) and Obama's cousin, Odinga advocates on behalf of the Muslim Luo tribe (12%).
In most of the Muslim world, the wearing of a turban symbolizes religious or political power (note, none of the 9/11 terrorists wore one). Some Muslim spiritual leaders wear a white turban wrapped around a spherical or conical hat known as a kalansuwa.

Here is more about the clothing:

The skirt is called an Izar -
An 'Izar (loing wrap) is a
rectangular piece of cloth
worn wrapped around the
waist for modesty.

Hadith - Bukhari 7.695 (Also 7.744) Narrated Ibn Abbas, r.a.
The Prophet (saaws) said, "Whoever cannot get an Izar, can wear trousers, and whoever cannot wear sandals can wear Khuffs."

Hadith - Sahih Muslim #5200, Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar, r.a.
I happened to pass before Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) with my lower garment trailing (upon the ground). He said: Abdullah, tug up your lower garment. I tugged it up, and he again said: Tug it still further, and I tugged it still further and I went on tugging it afterward, whereupon some of the people said: To what extent? Thereupon he said: To the middle of the shanks*.
*The part of the leg between the knee and ankle.

~read the rest at the link
The person who made me proudest of all," Obama wrote, "was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol."note obama said reasset his african hertiage and convert to islam.. this is exactly what baracks black church bases their theology on.. the religion and hertiage of africa.. ie. islam...
Islam is not the heritage of Africa - it is the hateful religion of the colonial oppressors and slavers!
Anonomous:..Obama said...two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam..Reassert means to confirm.. Surely Obama knows the meaning of the word reassert...
And anonomous.. Muslims were forcing conversions in Africa hundreds of years before Christian ministers went to Africa..
Anonomous...you said Africa hertiage is of colonialists and enslavers..What history book is that??? It was MUSLIMS who enslaved black africans and sold them to the world..and continues to do so as we speak.
I do hope you know you're not telling the truth. Far from it.


It's baseless to say he was a Muslim.
Anonymous is a typical left wing moron. I said that the CLOTHES Obama was wearing were Muslim clothes.

As for weather Obama is a Muslim--a question the above post does not address--this is very much open to question, since the Koran specifically allows Muslims to lie about their religion in order to advance Muslim conquest. Thus Obama's denials that he is Muslim are not at all probative, because he would say the exact same thing if he IS still Muslim.

In this context, it ought to be front page news that two Obama relatives have told documented lies about their religion.

Obama’s grandmother claimed herself to be Christian in one venue while professing herself a devout Muslim in another. Ditto for his cousin, Raila Odinga, the ex-presidential candidate of Kenya turned rebellious warlord, who signed a secret agreement with Muslim leaders to enforce Islamic supremacism in Kenya in exchange for Muslim electoral support.

The first line of the agreement is a statement by Odinga that he is actually a Muslim, declaring Islam to be the one true religion. And Odinga is not JUST a cousin. Odinga and Obama are known to talk regularly and to advise each other politically.

Add Obama's own documented lies about his Muslim upbringing (claiming he was never a practicing Muslim, when childhood friends testify that he was raised as a devout Muslim).

Add his reciting the Muslim call to prayer in perfect Arabic (a result of his Koran studies as a child), and his calling the call to prayer "one of the prettiest sounds on earth."

Given that Obama's denials are NOT probative, the preponderance of this OTHER evidence (including the repeated donning of Muslim clothes) suggests that Obama probably IS secretly a Muslim.
Couple quick points. A turban is traditional Arab clothing. It is used to protect from the sun and environment. It was around before Islam and today plenty of Arab Christians, Arab Jews, and Arab Muslims wear headdresses of some sort to protect themselves from the elements. This includes turbans and topi. Next, the concept that a muslim is allowed to lie about his faith. Lets look at 16:109 as interpreted by Yusuf Ali: "Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty." So if someone puts a gun to your head and says convert to X or die, your allowed to say so as long as you only say it and do not truly do so. One of the virtues expected in a Muslim is truthfulness. In saying this verse allows someone to lie about their faith and making it seem that he could just do this without his life or family's life at stake, you have created a false interpretation of the Qu'ran. Next, forced conversion to Islam is forbiden in the Qu'ran. 2:256 "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things." No one should force any other person to believe in any religion. It is up to the individual to decide. The Qu'ran also dictates that Muslims are required to protect Christians and Jews, their holy places, and if necessary upkeep or build holy places for them. For example, in Jerusalem before the Crusades, the city was held for a place of worship for all three religions. Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together in peace. Because the were by majority Arabs, all were killed in the taking of Jerusalem. In the fourth crusade came the famous quote of the Pope Innocent III, "Kill them all and let God sort them out." Another word, it is impossible to know the religion of a Arab by just looking at him, so kill them all to make sure you kill the Muslims. Before anyone argues this point, look it up. That really did happen. After all of this hostility toward the Muslims, there is no wonder of such wariness of the outside world. And last, before anyone says, but the Qu'ran says its okay to kill infidels. This is just not true. Read the verses where this statement occurred, the verses around them, and some commentary on what was going on at the time and you will understand. The Muslims were under attack by idol worshippers, but were trying to only be defensive as to not hurt others. Then this Surah came. Another words, protect yourself. The Qu'ran only allows a Muslim to kill another in self protection. The vast majority of the expansion of Islam was through peace and understanding. When I said that the muslims were only being defensive, you should know that their city also had Jews and Christians whom the Muslim defenders where giving their lives to protect. In fact, the Qu'ran says that only Muslims should fight for a city. So until all of the Muslims in a city are dead, the Jews and Christians in the city are not supposed to fight. What expansion occurred by the sword, was done by empires who's leaders happened to be Muslim and not in the name of Islam. If you are to say same difference, then what about America? Where the Native Americans killed, conquered, and enslaved in the name of Christianity? Was the land taken in the name of Christianity? The leaders of this country at the time where all Christian...

I wrote all of this just to give a brief inside to the truth. We are not all perfect. Instead of writing stories that defame and create further separation, how about some unity? Before speaking out against someone, know the truth. And by the way, almost all clothing and garb that is "Muslim" are simple things of culture that are also approved by Muslims. The garb Obama is wearing is cultural. Yes the Muslims in the area wear this, but does not stop it from being cultural. The only requirement for a Muslim man is loose garb that does not form fit the body and material that is not translucent. This is to not show off the body. All requirements for clothing, is to help reduce lust between the sexes. It is better to know someone from what they think, not how the look or if they turn you on. So that being said, as long as these requirements are met, the clothing is permissible for Muslims. So a LARGE amount of American shirts are the permissible for Muslims. Does that make the shirts Muslim clothing or the people wear them Muslim? Certainly not. To say someone is Muslim because of what they are wearing is ludicrous.
To Alex Rawls.
You don't believe Obama is a muslim?
Go and Google Obamas' report card and see what is stamped on the bottom of his report card. He was born a muslim, grew up a muslim. If it looks like a muslim and smells like a muslim, you know what they say?
What does it matter what his religion is? Are you a bigot? That is his personal spirituality. If he was Muslim it would only mean he would be kind to EVERYONE, if you read the Quran that is what its all about. Unfortunately there is a lot of unresearched stereotypical ideas about being Muslim.

If you want to know about being Muslim do some research. How dare you act like being Muslim is a bad thing. The quran teaches to not villianise people who are not following Muslim beliefs.

It teaches that Christians and Jewish people all worship the same God as Muslims. Ever watch "The Message", rent it out. OMG Jihad is religious defense not attack.

Yea there are some people, just like in ALL religions who take stuff out of context but in Quran it talks about that too. Those people are damned. Those are the people that lie about Gods will and say something is his will when it isn't.

Jihad is the last resort when you are attacked. Muhammed didn't go around screaming Jihad in a crazy Turban and killing everyone. When he was attacked and places of worship taken and then not allowed there, he did attack. READ QURAN.

We have something similar in our constitution called the right to bear arms, it is our duty to overthrow oppressors. Wake up and smell the propaganda. I can't stand this anymore because its like an ignorance manifesto.
The Bible prophecys of satan claiming he is God ...How else would satan do this except by claiming he is the god of Abraham..Jesus showed this clearly in John 8...He said these idumean pharisees who were SEED of abrham and professed to worship Abraham's God were of satan..Jesus also said the final temptation of man is when satan establishes his church and claims he is god (god of abraham) and tempts men to leave the real God of abraham.THIS FINAL TEMPTATION IS ISLAM.
To Anonymous: Where do I say there is something wrong with being a Muslim? This post is about the press denying that Obama was wearing Muslim clothes when in fact he was wearing Muslim clothes.

As for whether there IS something wrong with being a Muslim, I will say that there is something VERY wrong with being an ORTHODOX Muslim, because orthodox Islam is very clearly a murder cult. Osama bin Laden is a perfectly orthodox Wahhabist, and there is no traditional Islamic sect of any size that does not approve of violent aggressive conquest, wherever it can be effective in advancing Islamic supremacy.

This does not mean there are not moderate Muslims who reject Islamic supremacism and deny that apostasy or insult can be grounds for killing. But such Muslims hold their positions in contradiction to all of the main Islamic orthodoxies.

Can Mr. Anonymous please tell us his position on the traditional Islamic death penalties for apostasy and blasphemy, and the traditional use of insults against Islam as a justification for violence. All of these grounds for violence are violations of the commandment not to commit murder, which is any killing not in defense against the use of force. I am in agreement with anonymous that, according to the Koran, these actions are unequivocally prohibited. It is repeated many times in the Koran that those who forget the law of Moses (al Furkan) will burn in Hell forever.

Yet these violations are embraced by every significant Islamic sect. An honest Muslim ought to demand that these established orthodoxies be reformed so as to bring them into line with the Koran. Does anonymous agree?
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