There have been many rumors and theories about Barack Hussein Obama’s life and background. Of course, there’s the usual birth certificate issue. The questions about his real father. Where the heck are his college transcripts. What was his relationship with Bill Ayers – who maybe even wrote Obama’s book.
And then the one that keeps popping up, given so many of his foreign policies: Is Obama actually not a Christian at all? Is he more than an Islamist sympathizer?
Of course conservatives in the United States are roundly beaten over the head for having such churlish thoughts, so you might be surprised to know this theory is still alive and well…in the Middle East.
The Washington Post reports, One of the most persistent and widespread of these conspiracy theories gets more specific than its American variant: Obama isn’t just a Muslim, this theory goes…. he’s a Shiite Muslim.
This week, as the Obama administration announced that it was lifting sanctions on Iran as a result of a U.S.-led nuclear deal with Tehran reached in July, Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the head of general security for the emirate of Dubai, suggested that Obama’s “Shiite roots” had helped him get elected in a bid to bring the United States and Iran closer.
“Mission accomplished,” he added.
It’s worth noting that Tamim isn’t an obscure figure. He is a former police chief of Dubai. His Twitter account has more than 1.2 million followers, and his tweets about Obama were retweeted hundreds of times. And neither is this the first time that this rumor has found voice.
Last year, a video featuring former Iraqi member of parliament Taha al-Lahibi appeared online and showed Lahibi reasoning that Obama’s “Shiite background” had led him to work with Iran. Around the same time, Syrian writer Muhydin Lazikani told the London-based al-Hiwar television channelthat Obama was the “son of a Shiite Kenyan father.” The rumor goes back as far as the 2008 election, when state-run Iranian papers published articles that suggested Obama was a Shiite Muslim. There were even celebrations inIraq’s Shiite strongholds when he won the election in November 2008.
Many people felt, Now we have a brother in the White House,” one resident of Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in Baghdad, told Time magazine shortly after.
Now in the interest of fairness, the WashPo also points out there are others convinced Obama is a Sunni Muslim. Or even that as a Shiite, Obama is secretly supporting Sunni ISIS against them.
Of course WashPo also assures us “The evidence in favor of Obama being a Shiite or having much Shiite influence on his upbringing is thin to nonexistent.” Except for the thin facts that his middle name, Hussein, is the name of Shiite Islam’s most revered martyr, Obama’s father was a Muslim, his step-father was a Muslim and he was educated in a Muslim-majority state school. But no, none of those things should lead anyone to believe he has any sort of affinity for Islam.
None at all. Those wackadoodle folks in the Middle East. Where do they come up with such crazy ideas?
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]