Why Americans believe Obama is a Muslim

Bill Mattocks

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Interesting study results...not something I'd have guessed.

http://scienceblog.com/38014/why-americans-believe-obama-is-a-muslim/

On average, participants who supported McCain said there is a 56 percent likelihood Obama is a Muslim. But when they were asked to fill out a demographic card asking for their own race, the likelihood jumped to 77 percent. Kosloff said this shows that simply thinking about a social category that differentiated participants from Obama was enough to get them to believe the smear.

...

Kosloff said the increase in belief that Obama is Muslim likely reflects a growing disenchantment with his presidency — a sense that people feel Obama is not on their side.
“When people are unsatisfied with the president — whether it’s the way he’s handling the economy, health care of Afghanistan — our research suggests that this only fuels their readiness to accept untrue rumors,” Kosloff said.
“As his job rating goes down, suggesting that people feel like he’s not ideologically on their side, we see an increase in this irrational belief that he’s a Muslim,” he added. “Unfortunately, in America, many people dislike Muslims so they’ll label Obama as Muslim when they feel different from him.”
 

WC_lun

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Its willfull ignorance in order to make him into something that is easier to dislike. It isn't a big mystery.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Its willfull ignorance in order to make him into something that is easier to dislike. It isn't a big mystery.

In the case of the study, it actually seems to show not just the Obama-Muslim issue, but why people in general choose to believe some of these outlandish things.
 

Empty Hands

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In the case of the study, it actually seems to show not just the Obama-Muslim issue, but why people in general choose to believe some of these outlandish things.

"Choose" does seem to be the operative word. The numbers indicate that with time, people who used to believe he was a Christian now either claim they don't know, or believe he is a Muslim. Odd to change your opinions like that based on political dissatisfaction. I like Obama so he is a Christian, I dislike Obama so he is a Muslim? Seems pretty odd.
 

WC_lun

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In the case of the study, it actually seems to show not just the Obama-Muslim issue, but why people in general choose to believe some of these outlandish things.

Yeah, I think it is human nature. If a person is less like me then it is easier to see them as less than me. If I know that a person has more similarities to me than differences, it is much harder to hold onto the anger and hate of them.

Something I've noticed from people I know is the weaker thier arguement against something or someone, the more likely they will resort to this willfull ignorance. For an example, I know sevaral people that are not fans of President Obama. Naturally I ask them why. Some will list genuine disagreements with his policies and they'll be able to articulate that and an intellegent conversation will follow. Others will start spouting of the nonsense stuff. They don't have specific problems with his policies, but they are stubborn about thier percieved differences make him a bad president. As the article you posted points out, this is not helped by irresponsable media.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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"Choose" does seem to be the operative word. The numbers indicate that with time, people who used to believe he was a Christian now either claim they don't know, or believe he is a Muslim. Odd to change your opinions like that based on political dissatisfaction. I like Obama so he is a Christian, I dislike Obama so he is a Muslim? Seems pretty odd.

It may well be counter-intuitive, but that appears to be the result the study came up with. ??? I wish I could read the actual study results.
 

Carol

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Yeah, I think it is human nature. If a person is less like me then it is easier to see them as less than me. If I know that a person has more similarities to me than differences, it is much harder to hold onto the anger and hate of them.

Something I've noticed from people I know is the weaker thier arguement against something or someone, the more likely they will resort to this willfull ignorance. For an example, I know sevaral people that are not fans of President Obama. Naturally I ask them why. Some will list genuine disagreements with his policies and they'll be able to articulate that and an intellegent conversation will follow. Others will start spouting of the nonsense stuff. They don't have specific problems with his policies, but they are stubborn about thier percieved differences make him a bad president. As the article you posted points out, this is not helped by irresponsable media.

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Personally I think calling President Obama a Muslim is little more than name-calling.

The President has room for criticism, should someone want to bring a debate on the issues. But to the folks that don't want to put efforts in to a a reasonable debate, it seems easier just call him names.
 

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The human mind can, when bent to the task, do a SUPERB job of compartmentalizing bits of condradictory information from each other. That, when a person is reminded of a difference between Obama and himself, he can reach into the bin labeled 'differences' and grab a whole bunch and not really examine those differences critically is relatively unsurprising.
 

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What I never understand is how Muslim = not competent to hold office? I don't seem to recall a specific religious criteria to hold the office of president. Lets see, a citizen...at least 35 years old...no felony record...nope no religious requirement. Makes this kind of a moot arguement even if it was true.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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What I never understand is how Muslim = not competent to hold office? I don't seem to recall a specific religious criteria to hold the office of president. Lets see, a citizen...at least 35 years old...no felony record...nope no religious requirement. Makes this kind of a moot arguement even if it was true.

The Constitution even says there shall be NO religious requirement at all, ever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Religious_Test_Clause
 

MBuzzy

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But to the general american public, ALL MUSLIMS ARE EVIL. We love to say how we are the land of the free and everyone is equal and no one is racist and all of that great stuff, but it seems that after 9/11, there are many normally rational people, who want to believe that anyone who holds a particular religious belief is somehow evil.
 

chrispillertkd

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It obviously has nothing to do with him talking about Islam all the time, telling NASA they have a mission to make Muslims feel good about themselevs, referring to "the Holy Qu'ran" repeatedly, mentioning "[his] Muslim faith" to George Stephanopolis on televison, saying that the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on earth," or anything like that. It's because people are willfully ignorant and bigots.

For the record, I believe he's a Christian. But I'm sure I'm just being somehow willfully ignorant for pointing out the above.

Pax,

Chris
 

elder999

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The Constitution even says there shall be NO religious requirement at all, ever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Religious_Test_Clause


Well, what people can think and feel has never been ruled by the Constitution. THere was all that flap about electing Kennedy as the first Catholic President-how many votes do you think that lost him, and is it anybody's business but the voter's if it did?We still haven't had a Jewish President.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Well, what people can think and feel has never been ruled by the Constitution. THere was all that flap about electing Kennedy as the first Catholic President-how many votes do you think that lost him, and is it anybody's business but the voter's if it did?We still haven't had a Jewish President.

The John Birch Society (I seem to recall) believes (still) that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was Jewish.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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It obviously has nothing to do with him talking about Islam all the time, telling NASA they have a mission to make Muslims feel good about themselevs, referring to "the Holy Qu'ran" repeatedly, mentioning "[his] Muslim faith" to George Stephanopolis on televison, saying that the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on earth," or anything like that. It's because people are willfully ignorant and bigots.

For the record, I believe he's a Christian. But I'm sure I'm just being somehow willfully ignorant for pointing out the above.

Pax,

Chris

OK, then let's talk about willful ignorance.

1) He "talks about Islam all the time." Without specific references, I don't know what you mean. Obviously, the topic comes up quite a bit, whether with regard to terrorism or the accusations that he's a secret Muslim, etc. I think it's a bit ridiculous to complain that he 'talks about Islam all the time' when people are accusing him of being a Muslim. He'd kind of have to, eh?

2) NASA. He didn't say it. Charles Bolden did, his head of NASA:

http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2010/07/charlie-bolden-2.html

When I became the NASA Administrator - before I became the NASA Administrator - he charged me with three things: One was that he wanted me to re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, that he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."


Badly worded, aye. But he did not say - and President Obama most definitely did not say - that NASA's mission is to make Muslims 'feel good about themselves'.

3) Referring to the Koran repeatedly. The only reference I can find is June 4, 2009, when he was giving a speech to Muslims in Cairo. Do you have other references?

Oh, by the way, I did find several references to former President George Bush quoting from the Koran. September 17, 2001 ("Muslims should feel safe" speech) and December 16, 2001. Is George Bush a Muslim? George also visited a mosque. The Pope and Tony Blair have also quoted the Koran. Probably Muslims too.

4) Admitted he was a Muslim on TV.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslimfaith.asp

5) Muslim Call to Prayer is the "prettiest sound on earth."

Yep, he said it:

http://select.nytimes.com/2007/03/06/opinion/06kristof.html?_r=1

I don't know if it's a pretty sound or not. If I did, would it make me a Muslim?

I understand that you said you did not believe President Obama is a Muslim. However, you made it clear that people who do believe it are not operating on ignorance. Frankly, I have to doubt that. The facts are there, pretty clearly. I don't see where anything President Obama has said or done would convince anyone of even average intelligence that he was a Muslim unless they desperately wanted to believe it.
 
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