Barack Obama

Jan 21st, 2007, in News, by

Senator Barack Obama's Muslim past in Indonesia is being used against him.

Senator Barack Obama from Illinois is reputed to hold some ambition of contesting the Democratic Party nomination for US president next year. His likely rival for the nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton, or her campaign staff, is believed by some to have "leaked" information about Obama having attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, a "madrassa", when living here as a child, and suggested that he attempted to conceal the fact, that further, he may still be a closet Muslim and sympathetic to the Muslim radical cause.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama.

Right-wing news agencies seized on the news. tribune Fox News morning program "Fox & Friends" on the 19th "broke" the story:

Host Steve Doocy highlighted Obama's middle name, Hussein, and questioned whether Obama was indoctrinated in extremist Muslim ideology, given that Islamic schools in Indonesia are often believed to be funded by the Saudi Arabian government, or Saudi "charities", and to teach a Wahhabi system.

In reality it appears that Barack Obama discussed his attendance at a "Muslim" elementary school in Jakarta in his autobiography, "Dreams from My Father", published in 1995. Page 142 says "Dreams from My Father" :

In Indonesia, I'd spent 2 years at a Muslim school, 2 years at a Catholic school. In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Koranic studies. In the Catholic school, when it came time to pray, I'd pretend to close my eyes, then peek around the room. Nothing happened. No angels descended.

It also appears the reason he attended the "Muslim school" was that his parents could not afford to send him to a "better" school, such as an international one. From his second book, "The Audacity of Hope", page 274 "The Audacity of Hope" :

Without the money to go to the international school that most expatriate children attended, I went to local Indonesian schools and ran the streets with the children of farmers, servants, tailors, and clerks.

Obama attended this school for two years, between the ages of six and eight, and thereafter went to a Catholic school. His father was a Muslim, from Kenya, but non-practising, likely an agnostic or atheist. In any case Obama had little or no contact with his father after the age of two. His mother was a non-religious woman from Kansas. Barack Obama has been a Christian since the mid 1980's, belonging to the United Church of Christ, although said to be not a regular attendee at services.

_______________

In reality Obama attended not an Islamic school but the state run SDN Menteng 01 in Central Jakarta. On 14th February 2007 the school's current principal, Hardi Priyono, vehemently denied that any sort of radicalism was likely to have been taught to students in Religious Instruction classes at any time in the school's history.

Priyono said what was taught at the school was in accordance with the national curriculum and that his school, which he has been in charge of since 1999, was open to students of any religion.

SDN Menteng 1 was built by the Dutch colonial government in 1934 and was accepted into the Indonesian national system in 1961. Since then the school, which occupies 2300m2, has received students from all sorts of backgrounds, Priyono says.

This year we have 474 students and there are Muslims, Christians, and also Hindus. We accept them all here.
(Tahun ini siswa kami sebanyak 474, mereka ada yang beragama Islam, Kristen, dan juga Hindu. Semua kami terima di sini.)

90% were Muslims, he said, but that was only because most Indonesians were Muslim. Non-Muslim students receive religious instruction in their own religion, in a separate classroom.

When Barack Obama attended the school he was registered under the name Barry Soetoro. He left in 1971, in the fifth grade. antara


92 Comments on “Barack Obama”

  1. avatar Lairedion says:

    No, Geert is a big fan of Judo-Christian culture”¦ he just really hates islam.

    That might be true. I suspect him of being a Mossad agent, influenced by his Hungarian-Jewish wife.

  2. Greetings Indonesia Matters forum,

    I am the Bangkok-based correspondent for the Washington Times and international media.

    I’m now working on a story about U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama — and would like to receive some responses from you, via email.

    If possible, could you please *reply* by email to me, with your answers to the following 10 questions?

    Please elaborate on your answers in as much detail as possible, so your replies can be understood in the context of what you mean.

    I’d also like to quote you by name, so please include whatever job title you now have, and a brief description of your work, how long you have lived in Indonesia, and any other biographical bits.

    If it is impossible to use your name in print alongside your quotes, could you please offer an alternative to describe you?

    Your replies would be considered as quotes for possible publication in the Washington Times and international media.

    I am on deadline, so I would need your reply immediately — so please hit the *reply* button now if you can.

    Here are my 10 questions:

    1. Are you, and other Indonesians you may know, aware that Barack Obama lived for a couple of years in Jakarta as a child? If so, how did you first find out?

    2. How interested are you, and other Indonesians you may know, in Mr. Obama’s attempt to be the next U.S. president? Why?

    3. Is Mr. Obama more interesting to you, and other Indonesians you may know, than other candidates in the current U.S. election? If so, why? If not, why not?

    4. Does Mr. Obama’s childhood link to Indonesia mean anything to you? If so, why? If not, why not?

    5. Do you think Mr. Obama is in any way influenced by his childhood link to Indonesia? In what ways?

    6. How do you think Mr. Obama compares to the current U.S. President George W. Bush?

    7. How excited, or interested, are you, and other Indonesians you may know, about Mr. Obama because of his childhood link to Indonesia? Why?

    8. When you, and other Indonesians you may know, receive news updates about Mr. Obama, do you continue to feel some special connection to him as a candidate because of his childhood link to Indonesia? If so, is that feeling increasing or decreasing with time?

    9. Do you, and other Indonesians you may know, share any personal coincidences with Mr. Obama — for example: do you live near where he lived, or have relatives who attend one of his childhood schools, etc?

    10. Do you, and other Indonesians you may know, think Mr. Obama has a good understanding of Indonesia because of his childhood links? Or has there not been any major influence on him in that way?

    If there is anything I haven’t asked, which you would like to mention, please feel free to make your reply as long as possible so I have a wide selection of quotes to choose from.

    Apologies for the rush, and this email out of the blue, but I hope you are able to reply.

    Cheers,

    Richard S. Ehrlich

    P.S. For more information about my work, please feel free to visit my website:

    http://www.geocities.com/asia_correspondent

  3. avatar Ed Ski says:

    I doubt very many of us (especially those of us who are now in our late 40s – early 50s) have vivid memories from the time we were six to eight years old. There are undoubtedly some memories good and bad, but probably nothing that would influence a child of that age to have either pro or anti American or Indonesian sentiments.

  4. avatar Politic says:

    It is very sad that american’s have forgot that we are a democracy, a melting pot of many people.

    In order for us to succeed we succeed with all the people. So what if he is Muslim, is not their americans who are Muslim.

    When someone in america bombs schools that children live in we don’t say the ethnicity or the religion that person comes from is a problem. So why the new racism towards
    muslims.

    If we don’t get it right we are on the road of Rome.

    Politic.

  5. avatar Hadz says:

    Can’t believe people replied to my post.. XD

    Like omg, I sleep at about 12 am.. I’ve got homework and project and such..

    Ive got 5 projects due this week, and havent done each one of them.. so retarded!

    Anyhow, you used to be 13 – 14 like me.. right???

    – – – – –

    My friends here are like so scared of me cuz Im moslem, Indonesian, i bring knife to school, im so all wearing black.

    I USED to bring a swiss army knife to school cuz then i feel like im bigger.. lol, i dont anymore though..

    Just because I love knifes and black.. Doesnt mean Im dangerous!! :D:D

    Lol, they were like “OMG! He’s an emo!” “Dangerous Moslem!”

    Ugh!!! Stereotype is making my life much harder!!

    – – – – –

    Im sick of English, anyone speak indonesian? or malay at least.. 😛

  6. avatar Hadz says:

    If Geert Wilders becomes the next perdana menteri of Holland, he will surely legalize a Front Pembela Atheis”¦.

    Seriously? Thats sux..

    I heard that a year ago, the woman arent allowed anymre to wear those kind of scarf black thingy that the Iraqi people (I think?) wear.. Lol, that covers the mouth and only the eyes are visible..

    My grammar is so messed up, I have to do my stuff again… -.-!

  7. avatar mac says:

    I thinks the past should be let be past..its the future we need to think about. For Obama, no matter if he really is attended Indonesian school or not, because if he’s capable on turning back the states into its original form, i think he’s deserve a chance. Look what Bush did to the states, i think what Bush did is even worst than the islamic.

  8. avatar Teng says:

    My friends here are like so scared of me cuz Im moslem, Indonesian, i bring knife to school, im so all wearing black.

    This is not stereotyping… you are wearing black and constantely bringing a knife to school… ofcourse people fear that. Little weird to put that off as “stereotype”. I bet the Knife part was scarier than the muslim part.

    We have 1 million muslims in Holland… thats not really a thing we get scared of. Knifes at school on the other hand.

    I heard that a year ago, the woman arent allowed anymre to wear those kind of scarf black thingy that the Iraqi people (I think?) wear.. Lol, that covers the mouth and only the eyes are visible..

    You mean burqa. It’s not true. They are still allowed in Holland. Only place you can’t wear a burqa is in the government or as a teacher. A jilbab is almost always allowed accept as a judge, because they can’t wear any signs of religion.

  9. avatar Hadz says:

    This is not stereotyping”¦ you are wearing black and constantely bringing a knife to school”¦ ofcourse people fear that. Little weird to put that off as “stereotype”. I bet the Knife part was scarier than the muslim part.

    We have 1 million muslims in Holland”¦ thats not really a thing we get scared of. Knifes at school on the other hand.

    You’re right, lol.. Come to think of it, but my personality is different.. I’m nice, caring! XD

    In my school however, there are loads of Jewish people, and of course they hate Moslem.. 😀 But they’re nice..

    I guess you’re right. I think it’s just me.. ;D

    You mean burqa. It’s not true. They are still allowed in Holland. Only place you can’t wear a burqa is in the government or as a teacher. A jilbab is almost always allowed accept as a judge, because they can’t wear any signs of religion.

    My mom wears jilbab.. 🙂 I still see though one or two woman this year (So its been 3 months) wear burqa..

  10. avatar art says:

    I think we should adapt ourselves to different surrounding. As a Muslim, do not over doing anything especially like bring a knife to school. That will just make the situation worst. We have to be professional about it. Show to the world how lovely Islam is.

  11. avatar Rose says:

    I hope Mr Obama wins. He is the man for the job. America needs a change. We are ready!!

  12. avatar M. says:

    Sorry to burst everybody’s bubble(s), but I honestly can’t bring myself to be all excited about any of the presidential candidates, including Obama. Obama may be closer to my positions on a number of things, but, there’s just some sort of instinct in me that can’t bring myself to really trust him, either. Also, I really don’t want to get my hopes up too high, because, as often happens, disappointment will reign.

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  14. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Notwithstanding Obama’s qualities as a president, the mere fact that a non-bule man gets access to the position of the mightiest man in the world will be ‘a giant leap for mankind’ in the direction of world peace. My feeling is that somehow, with the exception of the Middle East, it will be a boost of morale for every non-Caucasian nation in the world.
    The only question is how long will he last before the Ku Klux Klan or some wacko redneck gets him.

  15. avatar Ross says:

    Seems a pity this thread has gone quiet, so let’s try to kick-start it.

    Dewaratugedeanom, surely America could have found a better black man if it needs to break the mould?
    There’s a black Supreme Court Justice infinitely more qualified, there’s an Asian-origin Governor of Louisiana, plus many more.
    It seems a shame that the mainstream media are covering up a lot of stuff about Obama’s background, giving him an easy run when he’d being interviewed.
    It’s also a shame that so many black voters seem determined to vote on colour grounds alone.

  16. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ross,

    I see you’ve crawled out of the slime of the Blok M sewers to bore us all again with your predictable comments and back-of-a-cornflakes packet logic.

    It’s predictable that you revile the idea of a Black Man ruling the United States, so often the avenging angel of the Bule, its flag the last soiled, boxer shirts of the Blok-M derelict.

    But welcome back, Ross, I needed a mental holiday.

  17. avatar Lairedion says:

    Ross said:

    It seems a shame that the mainstream media are covering up a lot of stuff about Obama’s background

    Of course it’s better to believe the “reliable” conservative media who are constantly highlighting Obama’s middle name Hussein, his allegedly Indonesian Muslim background (Obama got some of his education in a pesantren, didn’t he?) thus playing the “fear of Muslim” trick card by spreading false rumours a disguised Muslim is running fro president.

    Blaming the Blacks to vote on colour grounds is hypocrite. The US is built on the power base of WASP’s (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants). The WASP’s have run this country since the foundation (only one none-WASP president, Irish-Catholic JFK) and their puritan ancestors have had a massive influence and for a large part shaped the US’ culture. For a long period minorities, especially Blacks and Native Americans but also white Irish-Catholics, were treated as second-class citizens, well after the abolishment of slavery. Until deep in the 20th century racial segregation laws existed in a large part of the Southern States. This is possibly the reason why the US as a developed Western nation still have a conservative outlook deeply rooted in Protestantism and Christianity in general compared to other developed Western nations.

    Race will always be an issue. Even Billary herself used white, blue-collar fears of Barack Obama to try to stop him from getting nominated or elected. She played on his “elitism” by hammering him on blue-collar issues and minced no words in painting him as a stranger to blue-collar white America. Obama’s former Reverend Wright may have uttered insensible statements but one should not underestimate the feelings of Blacks after centuries of ill-treatment.

  18. avatar Christi says:

    I’ve noticed that everybody thinks Indonesia is a moslem country. And people have been making a big fuss about it, because people think that since Obama lived in a moslem country, he was a moslem himself, or had been taught about moslem and people are scared of that, because USA is a christian country and all.

    In fact, Indonesia is NOT a moslem country. It never declares to be one. Indonesia is simply a non-moslem country with the most moslem population in the whole world. Or so I’ve read. Nearly 80% of the populace is moslem, but it has never been a moslem country. Other religions are admitted : Buddist, Christian, Hindu and Chatolic.

    So I just want to clarify stuffs, coz I noticed that this has been a serioius issue.

  19. avatar Milton says:

    Well yes Obama did attend a muslim school this article proves it but that doesnt mean he is a muslim extremist it also said he attended a catholic and that doesn’t mean he is a catholic extremist it just shows that he is knowledgeable in many religions another thing the article said there were people of all sorts of religions at the school and that they would go to a separate classroom to be taught in there religion.

    “90% were Muslims, he said, but that was only because most Indonesians were Muslim. Non-Muslim students receive religious instruction in their own religion, in a separate classroom.”

    Another thing he became a member of United Church of Christ not some muslim church thing and it really doesn’t matter where they came from lets say I was from Brazil and I went to a public school that taught views about catholicism I yes would’ve been taught in that religion but I might not be catholic just because I went somewhere doesn’t mean I am that something.

  20. avatar Andy says:

    I am curious as to who Indonesians like most in the upcoming US Presidential election. Reason I ask is that Indonesians on their own soil and within the Asian region generally love the tough, hardline, conservative nationalist leader. Yet in the west they tend to like the more left leaning, liberal, sharing and caring guy. Paul Keating, for example, was more liked by Indonesians than his own people yet Howard, Bush etc are not.
    Now I just wonder if deep down they believe the left will be easier to deal with in their region.

    Now, Obama would be popular solely for being educated in Indonesia. Bit like they way you always accept a popular sporting identit into the fold after they migrate to your country.

    But here goes, Indonesians, who would you like to see triumph in November?

  21. avatar Oigal says:

    But welcome back, Ross, I needed a mental holiday

    But how could the rest of us tell you were taking the holiday…such is life

  22. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Republican is preferential as they do not poke their nose into the internal affairs of soveriegn nations that do not concern them.
    Mochtar Riady bought Bill Clinton’s favours to assist the downfall of Suharto.

    George Bush Snr campaigned very hard for non interference in Indonesian soverign affairs
    George Bush Jnr was a key figure in removing ridiculous bed-wetters arms embargo

    The Democrats have a lot to learn from Jimmy Carter- he was a very good Us president for Indonesia.
    Otherwise, like all Leftists, they are emotionally immature idiot intent on superficially changeing the world while enjoying lifestyle of limousine and private jets.

  23. avatar dragonwall says:

    F*ck*ng Idiot

    nose into the internal affairs of soveriegn nations that do not concern them

    Do you you know what you are talking about?

    Haven’t you seen Iraq, Iran,…what is going on with buffons like you… Learn more Indonesian.

    Don’t try and profess American Politics in the publics.

    Ignoramus morons menjadi Sok Pintar

  24. avatar Ricky Lynn says:

    It’s Nov. 13th 2008. It’s actually funny reading these posts, post-election.
    I couldn’t imagine this election having any other outcome. Obama/Biden08!

    God Bless America!

  25. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ dragonwall

    F*ck*ng Idiot

    nose into the internal affairs of soveriegn nations that do not concern them

    Do you you know what you are talking about?

    Haven’t you seen Iraq, Iran,…what is going on with buffons like you… Learn more Indonesian.

    Don’t try and profess American Politics in the publics.

    Ignoramus morons menjadi Sok Pintar

    Forever countering argument with cursing and swearing. Probably you have eaten too much kai si.

    Dragonball, sometime it is good to utilise your brain cell (if you have any). It is good for your mental health, you know.

  26. avatar dragonwall says:

    Post for the sake of posting?

    So when it is you guys then it is not cursing and swearing! So an idiot tantamount to swearing?

    Kai Si Brain cell.

  27. avatar milton says:

    well now none of this matters bcus obama and biden won haha sweet it doesnt matter that he lived in indonesia or went to a muslim school therefore we should respect our leader and hope he does the best he is capable of

  28. avatar Sara says:

    I highly and strongly think that a muslim pres 4 the americans is much much better than now. He actually will expose the world onward on the suffers carried by people of non-developed countries. He would probably have a noble heart in taking care of people. Obama was actually muslim but afterward converted to Christian due to people speculation. Believe me, he would get an award in the coming world

  29. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Assalamualaikum Mbak Sara

    I am with you. I hope Obama will apply shariah in the US. It is time that every man is allowed to have 4 wives and 9 mistress. To hell with Bule women’s right, the quran clearly states that women can be spanked if they refuse sex. The biggest winner will be the US army personnels, they each get to elope with 72 virgins if they die fighting in Aghanistan and Iraq.

    Wasalam.

  30. avatar Schuimpjes says:

    I just don’t get it, why we are always proud that we have a female President, again it shows that Indonesian only look at “kulit” and not “isi”. The real democracy doesn’t consider race, gender, religion, they decide based on merit.

    Hmmm…. Is in Indonesia considered what you called the real democracy now?

    Indonesia waits for the first (female or male) president, which is not “indigenous”. Maybe Indonesia will have then more open minded view?

    I used to remember when they used to say that you have to be Javanese, Muslim and male to be Prez of Indo. The fact is neither Habibie and Megawati fit that category.

    Do you think a Chinese Budhism or a Halfbloedjes (Mixed foreign blood) Christian or another race but Javanese and hold another religion but Moslem (like Bali Hindu people) in Indonesia can have a fully rights and fair opportunity to be a president of Indonesia?

    Hmmm….. I don’t think so.. I will bet my head for it. If FPI still there, then I will still have my head on.

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