Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Barack Obama, the e-mail culture and religious smears

I thought this might interest readers of this blog. You can watch a full report, via PBS, HERE .

Now, as you will know Barack Obama is one of the two main competitors for the Democratic nomination for the next US Presidential election. Forwarded, sent-on, bulk-posted (viral style) E-mails have been circulating in large number over e-mail networks suggesting that he is secretly a Muslim.

You can read the e-mail itself at http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp There are perhaps two things of note about this. One is the smear campaign itself - but I guess not a great shock - and the kind of thing that happens with the Internet..

Secondly there is the idea that his being a Muslim is something that he would have to keep secret - and that Muslims are people who go about pretending to be Christians in order to deceive and gain power over others. It seems that to buy into the world view of this viral e-mail you have to begin in a culture of fear and paranoia that is itself rather frightening. Also disturbing is the realisation that the authors of this e-mail, while evoking honesty, God and values, are involved in a politically motivated act of deception....

[it is perhaps worth noting that the Fox News network reported these rumours - see HERE, in part, via John Gibson, the same person who openly mocked the death of Heath Ledger - and laughed about his demise HERE ]

To hear the tone of this coverage see http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/19/fox-obama-madrassa/ and watch/listen to the video clip there of Fox News coverage...

6 comments:

  1. What is frightening is the kind of cult-like power these right-wing radio hosts have in the US. They sell a simple myth: that America was once a utopia and that it isn't today because of: Muslims, Blacks, Mexicans, Gays, the French... (pick your day, pick your enemy)

    They dress this bigotry (and dishonesty) in 'humor', making them very difficult to counteract. My only hope is that the Truth - which IS out there too - will prevail and these folks will follow in the footsteps of Nixon and the likes...

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  2. Shameful stuff really, I sincerely hope the American public disprove the negative stereotype of them and see through such things.

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  3. can i suggest a way in which this ridiculous muslim allegation helps Obama?

    It makes sure to move the liberal left's attention away from his dodgy christian chicago connections

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  4. jeannie7:30 pm

    its hard to tell whats real isn't it.. is he muslim? so what if he is? or is he of the church of christ? or is that being plugged by his 'men' because the leader of USA must be christian? or is he pretty much non committal having had a half muslim half catholic upbringing but must be seen to be christian?..see i've been confused by it all.. i think the most outrageous thing is the fox news coverage.. thats crazy.. and frightening..

    one day religion will have nothing to do with politics and what a happier world it will be...

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  5. Anonymous4:03 pm

    The e-mail is bigoted and reprehensible. However, it would be a mistake to conclude that Muslim jihadis are not interested in destroying democracy and that they are not a real threat. How Obama would respond to this threat is an issue in the campaign, as well it should be. The discussion of this topic here needs to be more subtle.

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  6. Anonymous4:03 pm

    The e-mail is bigoted and reprehensible. However, it would be a mistake to conclude that Muslim jihadis are not interested in destroying democracy and that they are not a real threat. How Obama would respond to this threat is an issue in the campaign, as well it should be. The discussion of this topic here needs to be more subtle.

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