Monica Crowley falsely claimed Obama's half brother "went on the record to The Jerusalem Post" and said "Obama's got a really solid Muslim background"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

On The Laura Ingraham Show, Monica Crowley falsely asserted that Malik Obama, Sen. Barack Obama's half brother, "went on the record to The Jerusalem Post, of all places, and said, 'Oh yeah, Obama's got a really solid Muslim background.' " Crowley also aired a clip of Brit Hume asserting that Malik Obama "tells The Jerusalem Post that 'if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.' " But as ABC News' Jake Tapper noted, "Malik did not say that or come close to saying that."

On the June 19 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show, guest host Monica Crowley falsely asserted that Malik Obama, Sen. Barack Obama's half brother, "went on the record to The Jerusalem Post, of all places, and said, 'Oh yeah, Obama's got a really solid Muslim background.' " As the broadcast was going to commercial break, Crowley aired a clip of Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume from the June 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report, in which he pointed to a statement on Obama's campaign website that Obama "has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." Hume stated: "But Obama's half brother is not so sure. Malik Obama tells The Jerusalem Post that 'if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.' " But as Media Matters for America noted, Hume's claim that Malik Obama told the Post that Sen. Obama had a "Muslim background" is false. Indeed, as ABC News senior national correspondent Jake Tapper reported, according to The Jerusalem Post, Malik Obama did not speak directly with the Post but, rather, the article was referring to an interview Malik Obama gave to Israel's Army Radio. Moreover, Tapper wrote that "nowhere in [the interview] does Malik expressly say anything about Obama having a Muslim background," adding, "Malik did not say that or come close to saying that."

Earlier on the Ingraham segment, Crowley had asserted that Obama "was born to a Muslim father, which, in Islam, automatically makes him a Muslim." She added: "Now, he left the faith, does that make him an apostate? I don't know. It's unclear. Punishable by death for leaving Islam, OK? He says he became a Christian in his adolescence, and he's a Christian now." Crowley's comments recalled a May 12 New York Times op-ed, in which Edward N. Luttwak asserted, "As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood." Luttwak also labeled Obama's "conversion" to Christianity as "a crime in Muslim eyes," adding, "it is 'irtidad' or 'ridda,' usually translated from the Arabic as 'apostasy.' " New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt refuted Luttwak's assertion in a June 1 column, writing, "I interviewed five Islamic scholars, at five American universities, recommended by a variety of sources as experts in the field. All of them said that Luttwak's interpretation of Islamic law was wrong." Hoyt also noted: "Interestingly, in defense of his own article, Luttwak sent me an analysis of it by a scholar of Muslim law whom he did not identify. That scholar also did not agree with Luttwak that Obama was an apostate or that Muslim law would prohibit punishment for any Muslim who killed an apostate."

Discussing Obama's name later in the broadcast, Crowley said, "I want to point this out, because nobody else has: Barack Hussein Obama -- given name. That was his given name. Throughout his teenage years, he went by the name 'Barry.' He went by the name of 'Barry' until he got to college and found himself, and then he switched back to Barack Hussein Obama." She went on to say, "Now, here is the point: African-Americans in particular in the United States when they convert to Islam, most of the time, they will change their name or at least take a Muslim name. Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Malcolm X -- the list goes on and on and on. ... [T]he explicit point of that is to signal to everybody that they are, in fact, now a Muslim -- hence the name. ... They are signaling to the world that they have converted to Islam and they are a Muslim." Crowley then stated that this "[r]aises the question: What is he signaling with that name? What does he want you to know?"

As Media Matters has repeatedly documented, Obama is, in fact, not a Muslim. Obama has said, "I've always been a Christian," and has also repeatedly stated that he has never been a Muslim or ever practiced Islam.

From the June 19 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show:

CROWLEY: The most prominent so-called lie is that Obama is a Muslim, right? And this is the one that they are so up in arms about, "Oh, this is a viral lie. It's vicious. It's horrible. Everybody knows that Barack Obama's a Christian. Well, his own brother-in-law, Malik, in Africa, went on the record to The Jerusalem Post, of all places, and said, "Oh yeah, Obama's got a really solid Muslim background." Barack Obama was born to a Muslim father, which, in Islam, automatically makes him a Muslim. Now, he left the faith, does that make him an apostate? I don't know. It's unclear. Punishable by death for leaving Islam, OK?

He says he became a Christian in his adolescence, and he's a Christian now. OK. But you're not allowed to say that about Obama, all right. Nobody's out there -- nobody's supposed to be out there saying, well, he's a Muslim, 'cause that's just a vicious lie. But the Obama team can go out and do vicious lies on McCain all day long, and nobody says boo. By the way, you're also not allowed to tell the truth about the Obamas either, right?

Not allowed to go out there and tell the truth about Barack and Michelle Obama -- can't raise Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright; can't raise Father [Michael] Phleger; can't raise the domestic terrorists, Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn; can't raise the Syrian immigrant, now convicted con, Tony Rezko, and his relationship with Obama. So you can't lie about Obama and you also can't raise the truth about the Obamas. Oh, we're in a real fix here, aren't we, America? 800-876-4123. I'm Monica Crowley. Back in a flash.

[begin audio clip 1]

HUME: Barack Obama is a practicing Christian, married in a Christian church, whose children were also baptized in that church. His campaign has emphasized his faith in part to dispel what the campaign calls an online smear campaign, which contends, among other things, that Obama was raised a Muslim. There is even a statement on his official campaign website reading, quote, "Obama has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

But Obama's half brother is not so sure. Malik Obama tells The Jerusalem Post that "if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background." The article was also accompanied by an image of Malik Obama holding a photo of him and Barack Obama both in Muslim dress, reportedly taken when the two first met back in 1985.

[end audio clip 1]

[begin audio clip 2]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Well, he's got his own beliefs, with the Muslim beliefs, and couple issues that bothers me at heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: Hmm-mm. You know this -- that's not true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: No. I'm just -- this is what I'm being told.

[end audio clip 2]

CROWLEY: Another thing you're not supposed to point out about Barack Obama -- and this is a very serious point that I want to make that nobody else has made. We were talking right before the commercial about the -- what Obama calls the smear that he's a Muslim. And I was pointing out that he was born to a Muslim father, which automatically makes you, under Islam, a Muslim. So, does that make him an apostate or what? I don't -- it's still unclear, although he claims to have switched religions in his adolescence, and there is part of Islam that says that that's OK. If you do that before you are technically an adult, you sort of have a shield to that.

But I want to point this out, because nobody else has: Barack Hussein Obama -- given name. That was his given name. Throughout his teenage years, he went by the name "Barry." He went by the name of "Barry" until he got to college and found himself, and then he switched back to Barack Hussein Obama. Get back to his roots, trying to find his identity -- the whole nine yards, right? So he goes back to Barack Hussein Obama.

Now, here is the point: African-Americans in particular in the United States when they convert to Islam, most of the time, they will change their name or at least take a Muslim name. Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Malcolm X -- the list goes on and on and on. And the point of that -- the explicit point of that is to signal to everybody that they are, in fact, now a Muslim -- hence the name. Muhammad Ali. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They are signaling to the world that they have converted to Islam and they are a Muslim.

So Barry goes happy-go-lucky through his teenage years as Barry Obama, and then he changes his name as an adult back to Barack Hussein Obama. Raises the question: What is he signaling with that name? What does he want you to know? I think this is a completely legitimate question, which, of course, everybody is afraid to ask because everybody is petrified of offending Barack Hussein Obama. 800-876-4123.

Network/Outlet
Talk Radio Network
Person
Monica Crowley
Show/Publication
The Laura Ingraham Show
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