Even On Streets Of NYC, Some Think Obama Is Muslim

Religious, Political Experts: Ignorant People Piling On President

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A new presidential poll reveals the number of Americans who believe President Barack Obama is Muslim is on the rise.

This comes as the president arrived in Cape Cod for a 10-day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard where his family was to meet him later Thursday.

No matter how many times the president says he’s a Christian, some just don’t get it.

Even on the streets of New York City.

“I think he’s Muslim actually,” one person told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey when asked the question.

The long-standing myth regarding President Obama’s faith seems to be growing.

The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, shows nearly 1 in 5 Americans, 18 percent, believe Obama is Muslim, a huge jump from the 11 percent who held that belief a year and a half ago.

“My rational self was shocked, my culturally aware self was not surprised at all,” said theology expert Serene Jones.

Jones heads up Columbia’s Union Theological Seminary.

“It’s just flat out racism. It’s a way of putting what seems to be acceptable prejudice upon the president when what is at stake, in large part, is deep questions about racism in this country,” Jones said.

And with deep questions about the state of the country, some feel the president is a convenient pawn.

“There’s no question people are not learning enough, they’re not thinking enough and they’re charging a guy like Obama because he has a peculiar name, happens to be black, and is the President of the United States in tough economic times. They’re trying to make him into the enemy — not good,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.

Meanwhile, the president’s middle name, “Hussein,” isn’t helping with the confusion. However, some say that’s no excuse for the ingrained ignorance.

“The poll? Well that people are stupid? No, I’ve been a cop for 32 years. Nothing surprises me,” one police officer told Hennessey.

The president’s father was Muslim. On Thursday the White House repeated that President Obama is a Christian who prays daily.

The poll was taken before the president said the proposed mosque near ground zero had a right to be built there. No doubt the percentage that think Obama is a Muslim has risen since those comments.

  • Wayne R. Serbin

    Better not let Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama”s former Chicago pastor, hear you accuse him of not being a Christain.

  • bato

    NO! let us stop this mess… this brings no good to the nation…
    Obama is the country’s president.. let everyone give him the respect and the needed break…
    He has been doing his best politically, their (administration) policies can have some wrongs but that is their best… lets look at Obama politically, not privately…

  • bato

    Can anyone give more details on the ‘racist’ views of Rev. Wright?

  • bato

    I do believe Obama is a Christian…The way he views and stands on his personal beliefs have signatures of a typical Christian bringing up… He appears to have the usual Christian broadmindedness, but the only problem is that it appears he was badly advised, lacking a thorough spiritual preparation over historical and moral issues of this magnitude, or lacks the presence of more experienced elders. This problem is also common to contemporary Christians…

  • bato

    Neither it is right to think that because you are a Christian, you will hate outright the muslims…

    In fact, there are so-called Christians that easily fall to the traps or enticements of progressive liberalism particularly when your friends and advisers are progressives… But it is indeed expected that Christians have to be broadminded as part of their spiritual training or bringing up… Yet they must be very vigilant also on what they should believe or decide….

  • larry nerney

    There are those who called him a rascist because he listened to “Rev Wright”. I’d like to know at which mosque did the “Rev Wright” preach. If you hated him because he was at a Christian Church with the wrong pastor, and now you say he’s a muslim, WHICH IS IT?

  • dmack

    What difference does it make. Silly polls, don’t even know what the word MUSLIM means. I agree with the comment in the story that this is racist thinking and trying to make the President of our country be seen in a bad light. Shame!!!. I guess you haven’t read THE UNSEEN HAND either, then you would know what all presidents receive on this level. Is that a bad thing???

  • BVD

    Anyone who thinks he is a Christian is nuts… this guy is a Muslim and it has nothing to do with “ignorance” or “racism”

  • David D

    It’s not a mosque; how about you report more correctly?

  • Streetwise

    Is “chameleon” a religion?

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