President Barack Obama — AP Photo
President Barack Obama — AP Photo

WASHINGTON: More than one in three conservative Republican voters still thinks US President Barack Obama is a Muslim, nearly four years after he won power, said a Pew Research Centre survey Thursday.

“The number of Americans who say Obama is a Muslim is up since 2008, similar to 2010,” senior Pew researcher Greg Smith told AFP.

Although the number of conservative Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim stagnated between 2010 and 2012, it has more than doubled since 2008 despite the Christian church-goer's repeated affirmations of his faith.

Seventeen per cent of 3,000 overall voters asked by Pew in June and July thought Obama was Muslim, the poll said. That number is up five per cent from 2008 and down three per cent from 2010, within the survey's margin of error.

“Our polling suggests there's a real partisan component,” Smith said.

Muslim American community leaders expressed concern that the lingering inability to recognize Obama's true faith showed a disturbing undercurrent in US politics, indicating a possible rise of Islamophobic discourse.

“For 17 per cent of people to believe Obama is a Muslim shows there's a lot of fear-mongering and politicking in America,” Haris Tarin from the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

But Tarin opposes Obama's efforts to “constantly go out of his way to say he's a Christian.”

Obama's Kenyan father was born a Muslim, his middle name is Hussein, and he spent years in Muslim-majority Indonesia as a child.

Millions of Americans — particularly Republicans fuelled by conservative bloggers and talk radio hosts — suspect he is secretly Muslim, according to several polls.

“My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years, all the more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time,” Obama said at the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast, an annual gathering that brings together thousands of religious and community leaders.

Tarin, the director of the Washington office of the Muslim American advocacy group, however said he hoped the poll would not lead to another Obama assertion of faith.

“I hope Obama does not go out of his way to deny he's a Muslim. That reinforces the idea that Islam can be used as a slur,” said Tarin.

Tarin noted that former secretary of state under the Republican George W Bush administration, Colin Powell, dealt a blow to the controversy of Obama's religion, when he asked in an interview on NBC's Meet The Press, “What if Obama is” a Muslim?

Only 49 per cent of those polled by Pew correctly identified Obama as a Christian, while another 31 per cent said they did not know.

Some 60 per cent of voters correctly identified Obama's Republican opponent in the November presidential elections, Mitt Romney, as a Mormon.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (21)

mark simpson
July 27, 2012 1:40 pm
sour grapes...........all the people commenting against US will like to get a US visa........if u don't one please don't come.......but u shameless people continue to come.......ist see the condition of christian miroties in muslim lands........
Mohammad
July 27, 2012 10:55 am
is this the clearest indication that Muslims are not welcome in the US?
anony
July 27, 2012 4:59 pm
What are you on about babu??? Stop spreading your wild imagination and keep em to yourself.
Umair Rana
July 28, 2012 8:59 am
America.no sensible man would be eager to go the place where there is no sense of Brother and Sister..no respect of Father and mother.such dismaying and derogatory acts...Humanity dangling ..such daunting acts that everybody would condemn.
Ishtiaq
July 27, 2012 12:00 pm
I agree with you Mr Faisal,I do respect ur views and precieving power. Enjoy life
sana
July 27, 2012 1:19 pm
When this happened?I mean when he claimed.
Jerry
July 27, 2012 7:17 am
The so called "oldest democracy" in the world has never and will not in the forseeable future, elected a president with non-christian affiliations. The US is a christian country and a defender of the christian faith - nothing wrong with that. But why does the US not state this openly?
Cyrus Howell
July 28, 2012 7:26 am
Obama is in no danger of losing the election. American women like his wife. They do not like Romney.
charles
July 27, 2012 10:49 pm
Does it matter whether he is a muslim or a christian, black or white. Fact is uncle sams people are ignorant and racist!
Dil
July 27, 2012 11:06 pm
What is democracy, do you know. First you be democratic then question about democracy
Sana
July 27, 2012 1:18 pm
This artical clearly shows that Americans are afraid of Muslims.
Amit-Atlanta-USA
July 27, 2012 1:48 pm
Part 1: a)Whether Obama is a closet Muslim or NOT (which BTW I don't believe he is, and even if he was a Muslim that should not make him ineligible to be the President, unlike in nearly every Muslim country incl. Pakistan where a minority person is constitutionally barred from becoming the President, PM, Army Chief etc.), b) Whether he was born in the US or NOT (which I believe he was not....that's he was probably born outside of the US most likely in Kenya or Indonesia, which makes him ineligible to be the President of the USA) c) Whether he's Black or White or of Mixed race (Which he surely is mixed given that his Dad was Black, and his Mom was White) Inspite of all these rumours swirling around - what matters most is his behavior on each of these metrics which can be summed up as follows:
KhanChangezKhan
July 28, 2012 10:22 am
A muslim cannot do the act what he is doing agaisnt muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
shabih
July 27, 2012 8:57 am
People around the world knws that Obama is Non Muslim then why America is not able to accept this.The other thing shows of US that they are so afraid of Muslims as if every US people life are in Muslims hand. Oh god give them some courage, i request all the Muslims around the world to pray these for US people.
faisal
July 27, 2012 9:30 am
USA called Taliban fanatic, terrorist, and that they dont have tolerance for other religions, Picture in your mind that if you educate Taliban and dress them coat pant, they will turn to be americans, coz americans are doing the same as taliban did, americas are also fanatics and racist with other religions, just for checking the religion of a president they did survey, such a low mentality and disturbed country... they cant have a muslim leader? why, and they call them democratic country, they must fix first internal issues and later to be the police of the world.
babu
July 27, 2012 9:38 am
OBAMA CLAIMED AMERICA TO BE A MUSLIM NATION AND HIM BEING MUSLIM HEAD OF THE STATE.HIS IRREFUTABLE STATEMENTS ABOUT HIS MUSLIM FAITH IS GOING TO COST HIM DEARLY.YOU CAN FOOL A FEW PEOPLE FOR SOME TIME BUT NOT ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.
Zavia
July 27, 2012 6:03 pm
100% Agreed
Hassan
July 28, 2012 5:48 am
you wish buddy. have you cut opened the hearts of the people here commenting and seen it for your self?
Hassan
July 28, 2012 5:52 am
Do you really think that this would remain the same? the Roman Empire Embraced Christianity all of a sudden due a simple reason that their emperor become a christian... probably not in our life time but its bound to happen
Khan
July 28, 2012 5:57 am
Babu k sapnay mien aye thay Obama Chachu aur kaum se ye khitaab ker k gye thay :)
SHERYAAR
July 28, 2012 6:59 am
WHO CARES IF HE IS MUSLIM, JEW OR CHRISTIAN.. HE SHOULD BE A GOOD PRESIDENT THATS WHAT I CARE ABOUT.. UPTIL NOW HE IS PROVING TO BE WORST THAN EVEN GEORGE BUSH SO EVEN IF HE IS MUSLIM ITS MORE SHAMEFUL.. EVEN HIS OWN COUNTRY PEOPLE DOE NOT LIKE HIM THAT MUCH NOW..
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