As many as 29 percent of Americans think that Barack Obama is Muslim. It’s only one of many conspiracy theories concerning the current U.S. president.
CNN, which commissioned a poll about Obama, announced the results on its website in an article under a headline that was as reassuring as it was curious: “Misperceptions Persist about Obama’s Faith, but Aren’t So Widespread.” Indeed, only one-third of Americans — 29 percent, more precisely — believe that their president only pretends to be a Christian, but is in fact a Muslim! Some 39 percent think that Obama is really a Christian, and 14 percent don’t have a precise opinion on the matter.
If we restrict ourselves to Republicans, as many as 43 percent of them believe that Obama is a Muslim. The poll was conducted in early September by telephone calls to 1,012 randomly selected American adults. It is not really a surprise; its results don’t differ much from previous polls commissioned by other media [sources].
The rumors that Obama is a Muslim were created during the presidential election in 2008. The candidate gave an interview at the time to ABC. He spoke with the journalist George Stephanopoulos about, among other things, whether his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, was responsible for disseminating these ridiculous rumors. At one point Obama said:
“You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith …”
“Your Christian faith,” Stephanopoulos corrected him.
“Yes, my Christian faith …” Obama continued. “What I’m saying is that he hasn’t suggested that I’m a Muslim. And I think that his campaign’s upper echelons have not, either. What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp, there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith — something which I find deeply offensive …”
Some still point to that interview as indisputable evidence that Obama allegedly admitted to following Islam (“McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith”), although it is obviously clear from the context that there has been no “admission” at all.
Additional proof is Obama’s middle name, Hussein, which conservatives mention with pleasure at rallies and on radio talk shows. The current president is always introduced there as Barack Hussein Obama, with an emphasis on Hussein.
Even further proof is the fact that he lived in Indonesia for four years as a child — i.e., in a Muslim country. This is actually true. His mother went to Indonesia with her second husband and Barack’s stepfather. But despite rumors circulating within the right-wing blogosphere, little Obama didn’t attend a madrassah, a Muslim religious school in Jakarta, but a regular public school. And the phrase “There’s no God but Allah” (which is the beginning of the Muslim profession of faith) is not engraved on the ring he’s been wearing for several decades.
The second most popular conspiracy theory about Obama claims that he was not born in Honolulu according to his birth certificate, but somewhere abroad, most likely in Kenya, the place where his father came from. In the CNN poll, 11 percent claim that there is strong evidence for that, and 9 percent have serious suspicions about Obama’s birthplace. There is a significant decrease to be noted here. In the 2008 election, but also in 2012 when Obama ran for reelection, the issue of his allegedly falsified birth certificate was very notorious. The billionaire Donald Trump, who is currently running for president, was one of those who doubted Obama’s American citizenship, [and therefore] the legitimacy of his presidency. One could learn from the right-wing blogosphere that shortly before the election, Obama poisoned his grandmother, Toot, with mercury, because she knew the dark secret of his birth (the official cause of his grandmother’s death was cancer).
As for other conspiracy theories, it was suggested in 2012 that Obama might cancel the election and introduce martial law in the U.S. so he could assume dictatorial power. It was also feared that the president was planning on cooperating with the United Nations to confiscate weapons from Americans who stored them away in their homes (approximately 300 billion pieces). Even Sen. Rand Paul warned against this kind of danger.
Perhaps the craziest conspiracy theory dates back to 2008, when Obama ran for president under the slogan “Yes, We Can.” Someone discovered that if you listen to recordings of Obama’s 2008 speeches backward, instead of “Yes, We Can,” you can hear “Thank you, Satan.” Which of course means that Obama is the Antichrist.