August 19th, 2010
02:26 PM ET
11 years ago

White House strikes back at 'Muslim' tag

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices."]Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (CNN) - The White House is responding to new polls Thursday that show an increasing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.

"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told CNN. "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday."

Psaki added that "the President's strong Christian faith is what guides him through the challenges – a recovering economy, bringing troops home from Iraq, putting healthcare and financial reform implementation in place - but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve."

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Thursday, nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year.

While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.

The number of Americans who express uncertainly about the president's religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown, including among Obama's political base. For instance, fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian according to the Pew poll.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Religion
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. mark

    I truly belive the president is not a muslim . The same as Bush was not a christian . Its all smoke and mirrors Religion that is

    August 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Bill

    Maybe that is because 1 in 5 people are raciest and associate black with muslim religion. Most people that are raciest are not very intelligent to begin with. This same thing can be turned around on other races as well. There are probably 1 in 5 raciest in every race. There are probably 1 in 5 people in every religion who are hateful of other religions. That leaves 80% of the people of all races and religions that can seem to get along and no be so critical of others. Istead of worring about what race president Obama is (white and black), what religion he belongs to (if he was Catholic, their would be other christians that don't like that), or what piece of ground he was born on (plenty of Americans are born on German Military Bases with both parents being American, does that make their child German?). What I care about is we all get together behind our president and get this country back on its feet quickly. He wants to do the right thing.

    August 19, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    ofcourse he is a muslim. that's why he always sides with the muslim.

    August 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. 2cents4free

    Are you serious? This is rubbish. Shouldn't this be something the Enquirer covers?

    August 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. K from AZ

    Based on published interviews in 2008, Obama has no idea what Christianity is. Furthermore, 20 years in Wright's church, listening to marxist philosophy masquerading as Christianity does not make one a Christian.

    August 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. CaliforniaBC

    I really DO NOT care what religion the president is...Obama or any of the others. What I DO care about is if their actions and policies are based heavily on a religious doctrine. We saw how GW Bush used his "faith" to dictate his policy. THAT right there brings religion and the state WAY TOO close together. I'd rather a president base his/her decisions on FACTS, educated/experienced advice and logic NOT some folklore stories or oral traditions.

    Obama makes his decisions based on many pieces of information and does not let his religion dictate his actions beyond a basic morality that the majority of us possess as citizenry of a western society. I'd rather have that than someone like Palin who makes her life choices according to "God's Word". THAT is scary to me.

    August 19, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Dustin

    Why should this matter? Oh that's right. More than half of our country is too dumb to realize that most of the Founding Fathers did not call themselves Christian.

    The greatest lie that the Conservative and Religious Right have perpetrated on the public is the myth that our nation is a Christian Nation.

    BTW, this is coming from someone who considers themselves a Christian.

    August 19, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Noocrat in MN

    This shouldn't even matter in the first place. They're acting as if it's something derogatory.

    Just another example of American "adults" acting as childish as ever. Guess we're more susceptible to peer pressure than the children we try to protect and discipline.

    August 19, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. NoBama

    Until this from the White House I thought Obama was Christian. But now that they came out special to announce he is a Christian, I don't believe them with anything they say. So count me in as a believer that he is Moslem.
    The white House is a bunch of LIARS!

    August 19, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Anthony

    What a shame – people need to be reassured that the President prays to the "correct" God. How embarrassing for him to have to kiss up to the right wing in this way.

    August 19, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. joel


    He's not a Muslim but he has a Muslim name. He's not a Muslim yet he throws Israel under the bus and apologizes to Muslim countries for
    U.S. arrogance. He's not a Muslim but he attends a Muslim holiday event, tells Muslim in attendance that they have the legal right to build a ground zero mosque, and never suggests that sensitivity and sincerity toward 9/11 victims and their families would best be demonstrated by a willingness to relocate the planned mosque. He's not a Muslim, but doesn't have the guts to stand up to Iran so we now have an Islamic militant government with nuclear capability to destroy Israel and deliver atomic weapons to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Al Qaeda.

    Conclusion: If Obama is not a Muslim, then he is one miserable, pathetic excuse for a President who has accomplished absolutely nothing during his tenure as President. Perhaps Obama's greatest legacy will be "Blame Bush."

    August 19, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Oregon Calling

    How many people polled? Speaks for "ALL" of us? I don't get it.

    Peace 🙂

    (part of the SILENT MAJORITY)

    August 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. mark

    Enough said. All the Idiots need to move on and stop harming America and try doing something constructive that will HELP us instead of divide us.

    August 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. John Stewart is Right . . . The Republican Party Should Be Paying Fox News . . .

    To Spread its propoganda, not the other way around.

    August 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Capsaicin

    The laziness and lack of thinking of too many Americans is evident here. The GOP spent months attacking Obama for his Christian pastor and church back in 2008 and two years later many of the same people think he's Muslim?

    They'd call him Wiccan if they could get away with it–the point is there is a significant part of the American populace that now falls for the practice of FOX news where the truth is intentionally obscured for the sake of 'winning' against an enemy.

    Unfortunately, other news outlets let them get away with it because they too agree rating and controversy are more important to them than truth.

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Angy

    It is so sad that President Obama is questioned and put under a microscrope for everything he does. To continue to question this man's faith is also sad. I can't remember a president being dissected like President Obama. I know a very BIG part is the fact that he is African-American. Did anyone question bush 1 or 2, did they question President Clinton or even that hateful cheney? NO! What is driving this hatred is people like rush, palin, hannity, beck. Where were all these haters when bush and cheny were destroying this country? You didn't hear a peep out of any of you. So have any of you haters (and I just know you are the best Christians in the world) have any of you prayed for guidance and truth on this matter? I don't want to pass judgement on any of you, it is just a question. I pray that you all look within yourselves to stop the lies.

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Danny Boy

    Yeah...for you idiots that think it's any of your business what religion he practices...STFU!! I was hoping he was Muslim just to rub your nose in it. Morons.

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Chris

    Must be George Bush's fault

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. MMGuez

    What ever happened to religious freedom? WHO cares what religion he is?

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. vburke

    It must be something in the water or the air. The insanity is just astonishing.

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Susan in SC

    The Islamphobics and Republicans (or are those the same people?) need to find a different mud puddle in which to play. These people need to learn a simple concept: TRUTH.

    August 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Enrique

    I really question whether those that say that they think that President Obama is a Muslim truly believe that, or they want to believe that. How else can this misperception be explained?? Do these people not watch anything other than Fox News?

    August 19, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. JJ in NY

    Seems to me that obama is only a part-time Christian, when it's politically convenient...............and a full-time Muslim .

    August 19, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Marilyn

    Therefore,1 in 5 Americans must be ignorant.

    August 19, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. horace greeley

    The same people slamming him for praying at a Christian church with an outspoken Christian minister have now switched to calling Obama a Muslim. Ignorance personified.

    August 19, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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