President Obama recently made some remarks about Islam, while on his international tour, as the Los Angeles Times reports:

President Barack Obama, making his first official visit to a Muslim-majority nation, declared today that the United States “is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.”

The ringing affirmation of partnership came during a speech to Turkey’s parliament but was clearly addressed to a far wider audience: the entire Muslim world. The speech was widely watched outside Turkey’s borders, with live coverage on Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, the largest Arabic-language satellite channels. …

“Let me say this as clearly as I can,” Obama told lawmakers and assembled officials and dignitaries. “The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical.”

On a personal note, the U.S. leader noted that many Americans had ties with Islam through family connections or by living in and visiting Muslim countries.

“I know, because I am one of them,” he said. Obama’s father was a Muslim from Kenya, and he lived for a time in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Gazing around the ornate chamber, the president said the relationship with the Muslim world must encompass more than the fight against terrorism.

While these remarks are exactly the sort one would expect of any US president, given the necessity of diplomacy and international relations — and are really not much different from other comments his predecessor has made on many occasions — Obama’s remarks will, unfortunately, be viewed by folks on the Right as an affirmation that he is, truly, a Muslim. It’s a claim they’ve been making for a couple of years now (e.g. by the immature, hyperreligious, raging Debbie Schlussel) and it continues to be sounded throughout the Right-wing world, even though it is not true. Many independent fact-checking organizations have reached the conclusion that the Right’s “Obama is a Muslim” mantra is false; these include Snopes, FactCheck, About.Com Urban Legends, WaPo FactChecker, and more. Even the conservative Washington Times referred to the belief that Obama is a Muslim as a “myth” that too many Americans refuse to part with.

Oh, and in case you aren’t clear on it, Obama also is, in fact, a “natural-born citizen” of the US. Really. Honest. No lie.

Sadly, there are just too many Americans these days who are too immature to accept certain truths that they would prefer to be so, when they aren’t. Especially on the Right. Irrational, even insane beliefs, are — in a perverse sense — comforting to people, and they will not part with them. Obama’s remarks about his father’s religious heritage, and America’s relations with Islamic nations, will be viewed by these people as confirmation of their (incorrect) belief. An emotional desire for something to be true, however, is not a justification for believing it, when it’s verifiably false.

In fact, incorrect beliefs about Obama’s nature and plans, can actually be deadly, as my next blog entry points out.

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