Barack Obama, the e-mail culture and religious smears
29th January 2008
I thought this might interest readers of this blog. You can watch a full report, via PBS, HERE .
Now, as you will know Barack Obama is one of the two main competitors for the Democratic nomination for the next US Presidential election. Forwarded, sent-on, bulk-posted (viral style) E-mails have been circulating in large number over e-mail networks suggesting that he is secretly a Muslim.
You can read the e-mail itself at http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp There are perhaps two things of note about this. One is the smear campaign itself – but I guess not a great shock – and the kind of thing that happens with the Internet..
Secondly there is the idea that his being a Muslim is something that he would have to keep secret – and that Muslims are people who go about pretending to be Christians in order to deceive and gain power over others. It seems that to buy into the world view of this viral e-mail you have to begin in a culture of fear and paranoia that is itself rather frightening. Also disturbing is the realisation that the authors of this e-mail, while evoking honesty, God and values, are involved in a politically motivated act of deception….
[it is perhaps worth noting that the Fox News network reported these rumours – see HERE, in part, via John Gibson, the same person who openly mocked the death of Heath Ledger – and laughed about his demise HERE ]
To hear the tone of this coverage see http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/19/fox-obama-madrassa/ and watch/listen to the video clip there of Fox News coverage…