Muslims spy demon in middle name

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By CITHARA PAUL in Delhi
  • Published 5.11.08
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New Delhi, Nov. 5: Indian Muslims are worried — Barack Hussein Obama’s middle name could make the world’s most powerful man take a tougher stand on Islam.

“Obama will always be under the scanner of anti-Islam forces. Ever conscious of his middle name, he will be desperate to prove his loyalty in a Christian-dominated country,” said Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind spokesperson A.H. Noomani.

“So there are chances Obama may be more anti-Islamic than George W. Bush ever was.”

Noomani said Obama — born of a non-practising Muslim father and who later “felt a beckoning of the spirit and accepted Jesus Christ into his life” as a young man — would be caught between Christianity and Islam whether he liked it or not. “A person going through such an identity crisis can prove to be more dangerous.”

Zafarul Islam Khan, head of the All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, agreed with what Noomani said. “Obama can’t afford to be sensitive towards Islamic causes even if he wants to,” he said. “Obama being a clever man will never let his father’s religion come in the way.”

His repeated assurances to Americans that he was a committed Christian were proof of this, Khan added.

The 1961-born President — whose father separated from his wife when Obama was two and saw his son only once more before dying in 1982 — had repeatedly denied reports that he was a Muslim. Throughout his campaign, he had stressed that he was “unapologetically Christian”.

T.A. Rehmani, of the Muslim Political Council, said Obama had made it clear “time and again” he was no longer a Muslim. “And he never uses his middle name.”

Delhi Wakf Board chairman Mateen Ahmed said: “Obama has the huge burden to disprove his Islamic lineage and we fear that he will go to any extent to prove that.”

“If he has declared that troops would be pulled back from Iraq, it was only due to economic compulsions,” Rehmani added.

A few were, however, ready to “wait and watch”. Kamal Farooquie, of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said given his background, there was a chance Obama might be “sympathetic towards the minorities”.