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Obama Rebuts Muslim Falsehood With Jewish Reporters

As the political world waited to see (and hear) Sen. Ted Kennedy (Mass.) formally endorse Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) today, the Illinois Senator hosted a conference call with reporters from Jewish publications and -- once again -- rebutted false charges that he is a Muslim.

"It is very important for everybody to know that it is fake," said Obama, according to a report in JTA -- a Jewish news service. "I never practiced Islam...I was raised by a secular mother. I have been a member of the Christian religion and an active member of a church."

The aim of the conference call, according to the Obama campaign, was to discuss issues of import to the Middle East, not to discuss the false Muslim rumor.

That Obama is still addressing this particular rumor -- proved false time and again -- speaks to the perniciousness of negative chatter in an Internet age. The Politico's Ben Smith and Carrie Budoff Brown penned a terrific piece on the extended battle the Obama campaign has fought for the better part of the last year against an underground e-mail campaign seeking to spread negative information about the candidate's religious background.

Obama, himself, in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, called the false rumor "a systematic political strategy by somebody because these e-mails don't just keep coming out the way they have without somebody being behind it."

Hat tip to Post diplomatic reporter Glenn Kessler for flagging the JTA article.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 28, 2008; 4:02 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: The Edwards Factor

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