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Fact Check: Did Obama Say of Muslims “I am One of Them”?

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another act in the ongoing production of the Editing Quotes Out of Context Theatre.

A new alleged quotation of President Barack Obama is making the rounds at right-wing websites and in Republican e-mail circles, a quotation being used to “prove” Barack Obama is a Muslim:

“I have lived in a Muslim-majority country… I know, because I am one of them.” Barack Hussein Obama

O! Mi! Gawd! B. Hussein O’ Bomb-a just declared that he is “one of them.” They. Them. One of the Muslims!

… or did he?

Fact check time. Here’s the real quote, from a speech made in April 2009 to the Parliament of Turkey:

The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.

What silliness. President Obama stated the obvious and the true: the “them” refers to Americans who “have Muslims in their families” and Americans who “have lived in a Muslim-majority country.” No one disputes Barack Obama has Muslims in his family — his Indonesian stepfather was Muslim. No one disputes that Barack Obama has lived in a Muslim-majority country: as a child, he spent some years living in Indonesia.

But did Barack Obama declare himself to Muslim in this quote? Obviously not.

5 thoughts on “Fact Check: Did Obama Say of Muslims “I am One of Them”?”

  1. Luke says:

    The American Rennasaince site linked here appears to be focused much more on White Supremacy than on more traditionally defined Republican beliefs.

    1. Jim says:

      You’re right, Luke, although white supremacist beliefs are more often found in Republican circles in my experience. It’s certainly a right-wing website to my eye, and that’s another adjective I used.

  2. MARVIN PURSER says:

    DID OBAMA SAY THAT IF THINGS GOT NASTY, HE WOULD SIDE WITH THE MUSLIMS? REPORT WAS: THAT WAS IN HIS BOOK. I ASSUMED THAT HE
    WAS REPORTING WHAT HE SAID WHEN HE WAS YOUNG AND IMMATURE.

  3. Anthony says:

    Obama said I am one of them because HE is the Muslim in the family. Spin it all you want. Remember the apology tour? Remember,I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

    1. J Clifford says:

      I notice there are no quotation marks in your comment, Anthony. That’s because they’re made up quotes.

      You claim that Obama said of Muslims, “I am one of them.”

      That’s not what Obama said. The actual words out of Obama’s mouth were: “The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.”

      See: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/truth-on-the-cutting-room-floor/

      You claim that Obama said, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

      He never said that. What he actually wrote, in the Audacity of Hope, was “Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

      See: http://www.factcheck.org/2008/06/obamas-dreams-of-my-father/

      You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Anthony, for spreading such sloppy lies.

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