1 in 5 Americans Believe Barack Obama is a Martian?
According to a Time Magazine poll, 24% of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim (we were just kidding about the Martian thing!). A Pew Research Center poll puts that number closer to 20% or one out of every five Americans. Why has this number increased from 11% in March 2009 to 18%/24% this month? Many people cite the media as the primary source of information about Obama’s religion, and there are polls to back that up. According to LiveScience, 60% of those who believe he is a Muslim learned about it from the media. While this is a myth that has been debunked many times over, and President Obama has spoken plainly about his Christianity, many people still believe this absurd claim.
Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman had this to say about the findings of the new poll:
The poll’s findings are not surprising given the scope of the issues we are focused on… The President’s strong Christian faith is what guides him through these challenges but he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve.
If you pay attention to the news, you’ll find that many conservative commentators perpetuate this outrageous claim on a near daily basis. On his radio program, Rush Limbaugh recently referred to Mr. Obama as “Imam Obama.” Limbaugh also asked, “why can’t we call Imam Obama America’s first Muslim president?” There’s a simple answer to that question—because he’s not a Muslim.
If 60% admit to being swayed by misinformation from the media, why do the other 40% feel that Obama is a Muslim? Of all the meaningless “evidence” I’ve seen, these were probably the most common:
- Obama’s middle name is Hussein.
- Obama’s father was born a Muslim (although Obama explained that he was better described as an agnostic).
- Obama misspoke and said “my Muslim faith” during an interview.
- Obama attended a school in Indonesia for roughly a year.
It is a sad day in America when one in four people are ignorant enough to think that President Obama is a Muslim. Many citizens of our great nation do not respect Muslim Americans, and use Obama’s father’s faith as ammunition against him. Sadder than the ignorance of one in four Americans believing Obama is a Muslim is the fact that the word Muslim is used as a racial slur, stirring up images of children with bombs, terrorists responding to the Islamic call to prayer, and perhaps the burning of American flags. This poll only serves as further evidence of the contempt so many non-Muslims feel towards Muslim Americans, and the overall feeling of Islamophobia in the United States of America.
 Fox News. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Thinks Obama is Muslim, Survey Shows
 Pew Research Center. Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim
 LiveScience. Why Americans Think Obama Is Muslim
 Media Matters. Rush: Since Clinton was called the first black president…