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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Pakistan Minister Wants Obama To
Assume Leadership Of Muslim World
 
   A newspaper in Pakistan quoted one of its country’s ministers as stating he wants President Obama to offer Muslim prayers at Ground Zero and become the “Caliph,” or ruler, of the Islamic nation.
 
   “The coming Eid would expectedly be observed on 9/11; this is a golden opportunity for President Obama to offer Eid prayers at Ground Zero and become Amir-ul-Momineen or Caliph of Muslims. In this way, all the problems of Muslim World would be solved,” stated Minister of State for Industries and Productions Ayatullah Durrani, according to Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper.
 
   The newspaper reported that Durrani called its offices and argued the Muslim world was in “dire need” of a supreme leader and that the position would earn Obama the exemplary titles of what Durrani termed “Mullah Barrack Hussain (sic) Obama,” or “Allama Obama.”
 
   “The time is approaching fast. Barrack Hussain Obama must act now. This is a golden opportunity, Muslims badly need it,” added Durrani, according to the newspaper.
 
   Durrani reportedly stated that Obama becoming supreme Islamic leader would be the “key to success.”
 
   Eid, short for Eid Ul-Fitr, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Ameer-ul-Momineen means the Islamic leader of the faithful, while Caliph refers to the head of the Caliphate, or Muslim nation ruled by Islamic law.
 
   Durrani could not be immediately reached by this reporter for comment.
 
   He is a member of the Pakistani People’s Party. He holds a doctorate in physics and served as a member of Pakistan’s Islamic Ideology Council in the 1990s.
 
   The Nation newspaper, meanwhile, bills itself as “the most credible of English Newspapers in Pakistan.” An editor for The Nation, reached by this column at the newspaper’s Islamabad office, could not immediately confirm which reporter obtained Durrani’s quotes.
 
   “The story was published on our website and newspaper, so I have to say the quotes are real,” the editor said.
 
   Durrani’s purported quotes may add fuel to the belief – held by nearly 1 in 5 Americans, according to a recent Pew poll – that Obama is a Muslim.
 
   Obama has repeatedly stated he is a Christian. His closest association with Christianity apparently comes from his nearly 20-year membership at Chicago’s Trinity United Church. The controversial pastor, Jeremiah Wright, married Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their children.
 
   Trinity church is closely linked to the Nation of Islam, whose leader, Louis Farrakhan, has given numerous guest sermons at the church. Wright gave Farrakhan the church’s “Empowerment” award. Both Obama and Farrakhan were featured on the cover of Wright’s monthly Trumpet magazine.
 
   The paternal side of Obama’s family, including Obama’s father, half-brothers and grandmother, are Muslims.
 
   Meanwhile, public records in Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years, and a number of childhood friends claimed to various reporters that Obama was once a mosque-attending Muslim.
 
   Widely distributed reports have noted that in January 1968 Obama was registered as a Muslim at Jakarta’s Roman Catholic Fransiskus Assisi Primary School under the name Barry Soetoro. He was listed as an Indonesian citizen whose stepfather was identified on school documents as “L Soetoro Ma.”
 
   Catholic schools in Indonesia routinely accept non-Catholic students but exempt them from studying religion.
 
   After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama was enrolled “also as a Muslim, according to documents” in the Besuki Primary School, a public school in Jakarta.
 
   In Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father, he acknowledged studying the Koran and describes the public school as “a Muslim school.”
 
   The Indonesian media have been flooded with accounts of Obama’s childhood Islamic studies, some describing him as a religious Muslim.
 
   Speaking to the country’s Kaltim Post, Tine Hahiyary, who was principal of Obama’s school while he was enrolled there, said she recalls he studied the Koran in Arabic.
 
   “I remember that he studied mengaji [recitation of the Quran],” Tine said.
 
   Mengaji, or the act of reading the Koran with its correct Arabic punctuation, is usually taught to more religious pupils and is not known as a secular study.
 
   Additionally, Banjarmasin Post interviewed Rony Amir, an Obama classmate and Muslim, who described Obama as “previously quite religious in Islam.”
 
   The Los Angeles Times, which sent a reporter to Jakarta, quoted Zulfin Adi, who identified himself as among Obama’s closest childhood friends, stating the presidential candidate prayed in a mosque, something Obama’s campaign claimed he never did.
 
   “We prayed, but not really seriously, just following actions done by older people in the mosque,” said Adi. “But as kids, we loved to meet our friends and went to the mosque together and played.”
 
   An article in March by the Chicago Tribune apparently disputed Adi’s statements to the L.A. paper. The Tribune caught up with Obama’s declared childhood friend, who now describes himself as only knowing Obama for a few months in 1970 when his family moved to the neighborhood. Adi said he was unsure about his recollections of Obama.
 
   But the Tribune found Obama did attend mosque.
 
   “Interviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia,” states the Tribune article.
 

   But it quotes Obama’s former neighbors and third-grade teacher recalling how the young Obama “occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers.”

 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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