Another dirty campaign trick

January 28, 2008

by Kristen Miller

I was aware of the e-mail going around about Senator Barack Obama supposedly being a member of the radical Islamic movement – that he was “hoping” to take over the world by becoming the next president of the United States. But, I hadn’t received it until last week.

Upon receiving it, I asked a coworker of mine about these allegations toward the presidential candidate. Having seen it on WCCO’s Reality Check, she found this e-mail to be false, as I suspected.

Upon viewing the clip myself, I became a bit outraged – not because I am a supporter of Obama, but because I’m a supporter of the truth. This e-mail blatantly was a misinterpretation of information.

The e-mail has several falsities, including that Obama attended a radical Islam school as a child in Indonesia, was sworn into office on the Koran instead of the Bible, and doesn’t respect America and/or the flag.

What gets me, besides that fact that these allegations are all false, is that the e-mail suggests it’s backed up by Snopes.com, a fact-checking web site.

So, I checked the trusty web site for myself to see what it had to say. Thank God for Snopes, or there would be a lot of misled people in the world from these mass e-mails we all seem to receive.

After checking out Snopes for myself, as the e-mail suggested, I found all of these claims to be false.

To get the record straight to all those who may have received this particular e-mail, I will reverberate what I found.

Yes, his father was raised a Muslim, but after a divorce when Obama was 2 years old, Obama had little contact with his father. Snopes also clarified there is no evidence Obama’s father was a radical Muslim.

The claim also suggests he attended a Muslim school. Yes, while in Indonesia, Obama attended both a Catholic and “predominantly Muslim school.” It also noted Muslim is the predominant religion in Indonesia.

Another claim against the senator is he doesn’t honor America or the flag. The claim came after a photo was taken of Obama not holding his heart, while others like Hillary Clinton, were. In the actual video, a person will find this was the National Anthem and not the Pledge of Allegiance like suggested.

According to the flag code, it is proper to hold your hand over your heart during the National Anthem. But, according to Snopes, experts on the National Anthem say the code is “a bit out of date” and “modern custom” does not require it.

Like myself and many others, Obama is shown in the photo holding his hands in a prayer gesture.

As seen on Snopes, there are other photos of the him singing the National Anthem or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, where he indeed, has his hand on his heart, as his grandfather taught him.

Another claim says Obama was sworn into office using the Koran. As many recall, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison was sworn into office on the Koran, not Obama who was sworn in on the Bible.

So where did this come from? It’s a campaign. This isn’t the first and won’t be the last of dirty campaigning.

To read more about this e-mail, go to www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp.