CNN Debunks "Madrassa" Smear Against Obama
On the CNN show "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" just now, Senior International Correspondent John Vause reported from the Islamic elementary school in Jakarta, Indonesia attended by presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for two years when he was about 6 to 8 years old. (The print edition of the story is here.) Hopefully this debunking will put to rest the absurd right-wing whisper campaign about Obama being a closet Muslim and/or brainwashed Islamic agent.
* The source of the rumors, Insight Magazine, is owned by the conservative Washington Times. The magazine cites no named sources, but attributes the story to the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).The allegations about Obama were mentioned on the Fox News morning show on Friday. A Fox News executive, Bill Shine, defended the coverage by saying that Fox hosts were simply expressing their opinions, and repeatedly cited Insight as the source of the allegations.
* The Clinton campaign repudiates the allegations.
* The students in the school include Christian and Buddhist children as well as Muslim children. It is located in a well-to-do neighborhood, and the U.S. Ambassador lives down the street.
* The teachers wear Western garb and the curriculum includes Western-style science and social studies classes as well as Koranic studies.
* One of Obama's classmates said that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils.
* The head of the school appeared in the story and dismissed the notion that the school is a "madrassa" or anything like it, or that extreme religious dogma is taught there.
In short, there is no substance to any of this at all. Let there be an end to it.