Sour Note for American Muslims in Election Campaign

October 21, 2008

Author: Michael Conlon

Source: Reuters

These are uneasy times for America's Muslims, caught in a backwash from a presidential election campaign where the false notion that Barack Obama is Muslim has been seized on by some who link Islam with terrorism.

The Democratic White House candidate, who would be the first black U.S. president and whose middle name is Hussein, is a Christian. Son of a Kenyan father and white American mother, he spent part of his childhood in largely Muslim Indonesia.

The idea Obama is Muslim has circulated on the Internet for months, presented by some as a fact to reinforce the position that Obama is not a suitable candidate for the White House.

Not since the election of John Kennedy as the first Catholic U.S. president in 1960 has the faith of a White House hopeful generated so much distortion, said about 100 "concerned scholars" and others who have signed an October 7 proclamation aimed at countering Islamophobia they say is on the rise.