The Obama-is-a-Muslim lie
The runaway comment getter today is about a Pew Research Center poll that finds 18 percent of Americans say that President Obama is a Muslim, an increase of seven points since Pew last asked the same question in March 2009.
more than 1,200 more than 2,000 comments as of 11:30 a.m. ET as readers argue about what is true or call each other idiots. The White House blames "misinformation campaigns" and says that the president's Christian faith plays an "important part" in his daily life. Some comments attack the Post's use of the word "wrongly" to describe what those 18 percent say. Several readers mentioned Obama's comments about the proposed Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero. The poll preceded those remarks.
As Jon Cohen and Michael Shear write, "The president's religion, like his place of birth, has been the subject of Internet-spread rumors and falsehoods since before he began his presidential campaign, and the poll indicates that those rumors have gained currency since Obama took office. The number of people who now correctly identify Obama as a Christian has dropped to 34 percent, down from nearly half when he took office."
The polling data and the Pew Research Center report are here.
We'll start with mtbunker who wrote, "Churchill said: 'The best argument against Democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.' That was England back in the 1940's. Tragically -in the USA of 2010 - that conversation would only need to be 30 seconds....."
Reason7 said, " 'Poll shows more Americans think Obama is a Muslim' The problem with that headline is the word 'think.' The evidence is clear, from the posts of the mentally challenged who support this fallacy, that those Americans aren't doing much 'thinking' at all."
Ian_Mc asked, " 'wrongly'? Is this a news article or an opinion piece? How does the Washington Post know that Obama is not a Muslim or at least strongly sympathetic to their cause?"
wp18 wrote, "Democracy only succeeds with a thoughtful and educated public. Foe Obama or against, one can only be aghast at the poll and at the tenor of the comments, the results of demagogues who wrap themselves in fake patriotism and pander to Know-Nothingism. The principles on which our country was founded are wounded by ignorance and bigotry."
dummy4peace said, "I knew this accusation will make news soon after he showed his support for building a mosque near Ground Zero. Lack of a good public education can do a lot of damage..."
astroland asked an excellent question: "Why would anyone want to be president?"
mmurray2 wrote, "This type of thinking is being promoted by a group of Obama and Muslim haters who are trying to tear this country apart. They pose as pundits as they peddle their filth. They range from Glenn Beck to Charles Krauthammer, from Fox News to the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal."
Historian1960 said, "People believe what the want to believe. Sometimes facts are irrelevant."
chbradshaw wrote, "I believe he is a muslim. How can the Washington post be so definitive about what is in his heart? He never goes to church or expresses and credible christian belief. That's like the Post having a headline that says '40 percent of country incorrectly believes Obama hates America.' I believe he hates our country, its history and its values and wants to change it. I believe he more closely identifies with Islamic terrorists that Israelis. I believe he hates Israel and does not believe it has a right to exist. Sounds like 20 percent and growing believe just as I do."
kurtkolaja said, "We are doomed to stupid ourselves out of existence."
viejo70 ties together the points several made in writing, "If you want to call the reporters liars then bring the proof to the table. It was reported that when the President was in Turkey he told them he has always been a Muslim and missed Friday Morning Prayer. He also said that the United States wasn't a Christian Nation and braged about all of the wqonderful things the Muslims did for the USA of which we can't find or think of a single one. As for the church he attended in Chicago, it is about as far away from Christrian as one could get."
bluewinterwaves wrote, "I will say this on the subject matter: He may not be Muslim (I can't say either way with 100% certainty), but I wouldn't exactly call the black theology church of Jeremiah Wright "Christian" either. Not by a long shot."
calgrl75 said, "The anti-Muslim feeling in this country is starting to resemble the Red scare of the 1950s with everyone pointing fingers and making accusations. Americans are starting to look like igmorant idiots who don't even understand their own Constitution."
SteveL7 wrote, "If you polled people and asked them "Do you think that George Bush is a chimpanzee?" then you'd probably get at least 1 in 5 people responding yes. It's all about the 'public growing less enamored of him and increasingly attracted to labels they perceive as negative.' [a quote from the article]"
ajackson4 said, "His words and his own actions condemn him not the media or misinformation. I wish the liberal media would stop giving our current president a pass when you did your very best to discredit and smear his predecessor. This nation needs a Christian in the White House, as we are a Christian nation."
amcalabrese reminded us of other nutty conspiracy theories in writing, "People believe strange things. How many 9/11 Truthers are there? How many believe the CIA or mafia killed JFK and not Oswald? How many people believe that FDR or WSC had foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor?"
No comment string about Obama would be complete without hearing from the birther crowd. cub62 wrote, "He is a Muslim and what is more disturbing is that he was not born in the US. He was born in Kenya which is a great lie to the American people who have taken this bait."
We'll close with amstphd, who wrote, "Only in August could something like this be treated as if it were news. There are stupid people in this country, and there always have been. We didn't need a poll to tell us that. I'm looking forward to September.
By the way, conservatives, twenty percent isn't a majority. Don't get your hopes up."
All comments on this article are here.
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