August 20, 2010

"Obama isn't a Muslim. But here are other things that 20 percent of Americans believe."

Says the Washington Post, a propos of the Pew poll. Well, can we have a poll about whether Americans believe that admitting to peeing in pools is a belief? I say it's not, but maybe that puts me in the 20% of Americans that WaPo would like us to be seen as marginal.

67 comments:

prairie wind said...

That's odd. The word "mistakenly" doesn't show up on the list of other beliefs. Gosh. I wonder what that means.

prairie wind said...

Peeing in pools, pooping in the Atlantic. Weird theme, Althouse. Most of us are just fine if Titus doesn't return.

Trooper York said...

Less than 20% of the American public believe anything the mainstream media has to say.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

America's Politico said...

A non-issue. Obama/Biden win again in 2012. GOP has no chance till 2016. Democrats will continue to lead in both House and Senate.

No change is going to happen.

Save your energy. Save your time. Save your money money.

garage mahal said...

The Monona Recs dept emailed me last week saying there was a "fecal accident" at the pool, and would be closed for the remainder of the day. I gave it few more, just to make sure.

Scott said...

Remember the scene in the movie Caddyshack where somebody drops a Baby Ruth candybar in the club swimming pool? I'm at work so I can't search for the link on YouTube, but if somebody could... :)

Scott said...

Point of WaPo squib: Americans are boobs and rubes. Here are the poll results that prove it. We can't trust ignorant people to understand public policy.

wv: grazi -- you're welcome

Irene said...

Scott, "There it is."

Scott said...

Thank you, Irene. :)

I thought Garage would enjoy it.

Irene said...

*welcome*

Crimso said...

When I was in high school (shortly after Caddyshack came out), we decided one of us would go off the diving board with a Baby Ruth stashed in his trunks, and then release it while under water. It sank.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well, can we have a poll about whether Americans believe that admitting to peeing in pools is a belief? I say it's not...

It's certainly nothing to get all wee-wee-d up about.

Paul said...

I think there are reasons why this perception is growing. When Obama spoke to his Muslim audience regarding the ground-zero mosque, there was a fervor in his voice. He was showing the emotional commitment that was noticeably lacking when he addressed the subjects of the Christmas bomber and Fort Hood massacre. Many Americans have begun to notice he doesn't really care about the same things they do.

Reverend Wright seems more like a Louis Farrakhan/Nation of Islam type than any Christian minister most Americans are familiar with.

Most leftists are reflexively anti anything white and Christian, and Obama has revealed himself to be a more doctrinaire leftist than he let on during the campaign.

When he professes his Christian beliefs he doesn't sound very convincing, and he hasn't joined a church or attended regular mass since leaving Rev. Wright's.

Scott said...

@Crimso: I bet a Butterfinger would float. Or a Kit-Kat.

El Pollo Real said...

Garage Mahal wrote: The Modona Pecs dept emailed me last week saying there was a "fecal accident" at the pool, and would be closed for the remainder of the day. I gave it few more, just to make sure.


Garage what do Madona's Pecs have to do with a fecal accident?

AllenS said...

God, Crimso, what a terrible story. You must have been really disappointed.

El Pollo Real said...

@Crimso: I bet a Butterfinger would float. Or a Kit-Kat.

It was a Baby Ruth

Trooper York said...

In last weeks episode of Jersey shore, the boys brought a bunch of girls back to the hot tub and one of their falises came off and started floating in the hot tub. It looks like a "chicken cutlet" which is exactly what it is called by Hollywood Fashion Tape who sells it.

Much more up to date than Caddyshack referances you geezers.

Everything you need to know you can find on reality TV.

Thorley Winston said...

While I’m in the “don’t know, don’t care” crowd on this non-issue, I think depending on how you word the question, you can probably get 20% of the people who answer polls to agree with pretty much anything (especially given the likelihood that many do so just to mess with the pollsters). Has anyone seen the questions from the alleged poll that supposedly garnered this result?


I also noticed that while the WAPO was quick to say that people who believed that Obama was a Muslim were “mistaken” in their belief, they didn’t say “Obama is actually in fact ________.” Usually when you say that someone is wrong about a factual matter, you also make it a point to say what the right answer is.


Of course if they did state what (they thought) the correct answer is, they’d have to offer facts that support their conclusion. That would invite others – including the 20% who may think Obama is a Muslim – to cite other facts that their support their conclusion. In which case the “news story” goes from the supposed ignorance of the American people to the pretty poor job that fourth estate has done in their coverage of the guy that was just elected President.

ricpic said...

What's so bad about being marginal?
It's the only way to be --
Enjoying the dulcet tones of a virginal
Or taking a fresh air pee.

El Pollo Real said...

Much more up to date than Caddyshack referances you geezers

Check out this video of Garage getting busted for peeing in the pool on YouTube: linkage

Scott said...

@Paul: Yours is a plausible explanation. Most people act on impressions that are poorly articulated.

If this is a problem, it's one of Obama's creation. He ran a campaign that kept people from getting a feeling for who he was or what motivated him (and the press was perfectly happy with this). Obama was a cartoon that you could project your hopes and aspirations into. He was the perfect candidate.

But as we've all found out, he's not the perfect politician. There has never been a president in my lifetime that has generated so much voter's remorse. And his continuing opacity is not helping him politically. Obama is acting like a fraud, so people assume that he is.

So the cartoon candidate that held our hopes is now the cartoon president who reflects our fears.

Calypso Facto said...

I like that the wacko 20% who believe the President is a Muslim are mirrored by the wacko 20% who still believe we have a legitimate (consent of the governed) government. Counterbalancing fringe.

The Drill SGT said...

But here are other things that 20 percent of Americans believe."


Lincohn made this point 150 years ago.

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

the 20%? those are the fools all the time

Lucien said...

So now WaPo can't even pass a urine test?

It's enough to make me excessively tired 20% of the time (I believe).

ricpic said...

Skipping medical care when sick, up to and possibly including deathly sick, can be a life saver. Especially if your doctor's name is Khan.

ricpic said...

Being sleepy has gotten me through some bad patches.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Wait... are the 20% who expect to lose their job in the next 12 months crazy? Maybe they just recognize that if the economy keeps faltering, they'll be the next to be cut....

Dear Washington Post -- outside the beltway, job loss is still a real fear!

garage mahal said...

Garage what do Madona's Pecs have to do with a fecal accident?

Somebody, somewhere, has a fetish about this no doubt.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

I bet if you asked the right group, you could get 20% of them to admit to believing just about anything. So what?

AJ Lynch said...

Garage;

Re-read your last line. It could suggest you were the perpetrator. Heh.

A.W. said...

well that was kind of my point, here. http://allergic2bull.blogspot.com/2010/08/on-confusion-about-obamas-religion.html

We forget that most people are just not that into politics. Complaining that people don't know obama's exact faith is a bit like a star trek nerd complaining that most people don't know that Captain Kirk's middle name is Tiberius.

guess what? probably everyone writing in this thread today counts as a political nerd. most people don't care enough to know what religion Obama is, don't admit when they don't know, and when they decide to guess, are likely to say, "well, the name SOUNDS muslim..." I just don’t find this number particularly remarkable and can be easily be explained by a healthy lack of concern with the subject.

A.W. said...

btw, i liked imao's idea. if obama really wants to prove he is not a muslm, he should do what he does: eat fistfuls of bacon every day.

And there is a side benefit: you are eating bacon.

traditionalguy said...

So if Obama is not a Moslem, why does every story showing him loving Moslems more than traditional Americans start off with the declaration that, "Obama is not a Moslem". Stamping their feet and denying the obvious is not going to work. It took Obama 18 months to lose his hardly Christian disguise in our eyes, and it will take some real bold talk from Imam Obama to change that fact.

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dead Julius said...

Oh, Althouse, is your intent to poo-poo the fact that so many Americans think that Obama is a Muslim?

You ought not to. The Establishment has created a culture of fear-- not directed toward the terrible and oppressive Muslim political regimes in the world, but toward Muslims in general... those peaceful, family-oriented, workaday Muslims who are forced into the religion by their regime.

And so the paranoid American public looks for these Muslims everywhere, even more fervently than they looked for Communists in the McCarthy era. Americans are so scared that they some of them even ask whether their own leader might be one of the them.

This is a huge societal change. It opens the door to total war on the common Muslims-- killing all the raghead men, women, and children we can find. It reflects the build-up of the bloodlust. It is an indicator of how far our society has gone in regarding regular citizens of Muslim counties as less than human.

ricpic said...

The Punitive Won

"You're fat and happy? We're gonna fundamentally change that!
By the time we're through you won't be happy and you won't be fat."

ricpic said...

Dead Julius is insane. And dead. But mostly insane.

Trooper York said...

The problem isn't that Obama loves Muslims more.

It is that he condescends and scorns most regular working class Americans as typical white people clinging to their guns and religion who should have their wealth redistributed to make things "fair."

traditionalguy said...

Dead Julius...What planet are you on? Do you know any Moslems? They are nice intelligent people. The leadership of the Moslems is the problem. We don't fear Moslems, we respect them. But we need a President who is not selling out the defenses of Israel and the great USA. Good fences make good neighbors.

lemondog said...

Bowing to the Saudi king and the abject apologies during his Cairo visit may have influenced perceptions of his being a Muslim.

. . believes that the government "enjoys the consent of the governed," according to a February Rasmussen telephone survey.

Were they not paying attention when congress rammed healthcare and other legislation down our throats?

bet a Butterfinger would float. Or a Kit-Kat.

Three Musketeers?

wv: imburoi - incipient monarchcal infiltration underway

Dead Julius said...

@t-guy:

The leadership of the Moslems is the problem.

I totally agree. But that's not the message that the Establishment is putting out.

People believe what they are told. I know some Muslims here in America-- they're successful and I respect them greatly. But I know more Americans who think we should just drop one big nuke on all of Iran and Iraq and kill everybody there.

And what happens when the American military proves to be too incompetent to defeat the oppressive regimes in Afghanistan and Iran and Pakistan, and the new oppressive regime-in-waiting that opposes us in Iraq? The military leaders can shift the blame. They can say that it's not their fault; they thought they were just fighting a bad regime, but it turned out that they are fighting the entire Muslim population of these countries and that is a much more difficult job. They'll call for the "surge" to be upped to "wiping them all out".

Or look at McCain's singing of "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran". Did he make the distinction between bombing the regime and bombing the general, oppressed population? Nope! It didn't even occur to him that they are different entities. And he was a Presidential candidate!

Or wait until the next big terror attack on America. When that happens, there will be bloodlust pressure for revenge at a scale that is way beyond what happened after 9/11. Do you think our political establishment will be mature and virtuous enough to channel that public aggression toward the bad regimes and not toward the victimized citizens of those counties? I think not. Instead, we'll kill innocent men and women and children so that we can all feel a little bit better 'cuz at least we killed somebody.

Or consider the leadership of Saudi Arabia. That is one fucking oppressive regime. Why are we so cozy with those bastards? The only reason I can think of is that we Americans must hate the general Saudi public. They're only Muslims, after all, so its fine that they are terrorized by their government with our support.

edutcher said...

Some of those 'other' beliefs aren't so implausible, either:

". . . fears job loss in the next 12 months, according to a recent Gallup poll."

According to a great many erudite people, that's a well-grounded fear.

". . . believes in the right of a state to secede, according to a 2008 Zogby poll."

At least they, unlike the WaPo, read the Federalist Papers.

But, then, there's this:

". . . thinks socialism is superior to capitalism, according to a 2009 Rasmussen survey."

Of course, those are the people dumb enough to vote Demo and subscribe to the WaPo.

Gabriel Hanna said...

It's true that for any question about 20% of people will give a nutty answer.

The problem with declaring this 20% to be the fringe wackos is that it is not the same 20% that believes every wacky thing.

For example, the 20% who believe that Obama is a Muslim are not the same 20% as those who think that Bush had something to do with 9/11--there is some overlap, but not that much. And the 20% who think that Oswald didn't shoot Kennedy probably draws equally from both.

fivewheels said...

One reason you can get 20 percent of people to say anything is that no one takes polling seriously. And I would bet a majority of those answering that they believe Obama is a Muslim were doing it just to be jerks. I try not to believe that most democrats really believe that George Bush was behind 9-11, but that they say they believe it in a poll to express their hatred. Similarly, I would bet if you offered the question "Do you believe Hillary Clinton is a lesbian?" a lot of people would answer yes just to be snarky.

former law student said...

if obama really wants to prove he is not a muslm, he should do what he does: eat fistfuls of bacon every day.

Basically a technique used by the Spanish Inquisition to root out Jews who had only pretended to convert. That's how the converts got the name "marranos." They would also send people out on the Sabbath to make sure smoke was coming from the converts' chimneys.

Further, an Indian fellow I went to grad school with told me how Catholic priests had had some success converting Hindus, mostly lower class.

But then they (according to my schoolmate) would make the converts eat beef, to see if they had fully converted.

Sixty Grit said...

America's Douche, er, Politico, maybe where you come from, in the language you grew up speaking, you have to repeat money. Here, you don't. But thanks for telling us to quit while we are behind. We will be sure to give your advice all the consideration it deserves. Now run along and collect your Soros check.

WV: forinks - people who aren't from here.

bagoh20 said...

I know that personally, 20% of me believes Obama is a Muslim, and I only pee in the pool 20% of the time. Both things are based on sound reasoning, and so I make no apologies.

Fen said...

Point of WaPo squib: Americans are boobs and rubes. Here are the poll results that prove it. We can't trust ignorant people to understand public policy.

I think Americans are smarter than Wapo gives them credit for:

"...the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name. Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That’s what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn’t. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said." - Reverend Franklin Graham

Perhaps 20% of Americans don't believe Obama actually renounced Islam. Its not like he has much credibility any more.

craig said...

To quote another aphorism, it's funny how "fear of the other" and "bloodlust" is always descending upon the Right, but always manages to land on the Left.

garage mahal said...

Or consider the leadership of Saudi Arabia. That is one fucking oppressive regime. Why are we so cozy with those bastards?

The Saudis play ball. But Iran doesn't. And the Wurlitzer plays on.

jr565 said...

Dead Julius wrote:
This is a huge societal change. It opens the door to total war on the common Muslims-- killing all the raghead men, women, and children we can find. It reflects the build-up of the bloodlust. It is an indicator of how far our society has gone in regarding regular citizens of Muslim counties as less than human.


I call bullsh*t on this. If anything you're desacribing what muslims view jews under shariah law (ie lower than dogs.) they even have rules built into the law about how to clean yourself if you should be defiled by touching of an unclean jew (i'm serious).
Yet, I don't care what war you are talking about htat you think we are engaged in. Your description is simply demagoguery of the worst kind.

jr565 said...

Former law student wrote:
Basically a technique used by the Spanish Inquisition to root out Jews who had only pretended to convert. That's how the converts got the name "marranos." They would also send people out on the Sabbath to make sure smoke was coming from the converts' chimneys.


it reminds me of the scene from History of the World where they're trying to find Gregory Hines's character so they bring out a hot woman to dance for the eunuchs to see if they can get a rise out of them (thus proving that one of them is not in fact a eunuch).
"He....is a eunuch"
"He...is a eunuch"
"He's dead!"
Criminology at it's most basic.

jr565 said...

Dead Julius wrote:
Or look at McCain's singing of "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran". Did he make the distinction between bombing the regime and bombing the general, oppressed population? Nope! It didn't even occur to him that they are different entities. And he was a Presidential candidate!

that was obviously a joke. It was sung to the tune of Barbara Ann. But did Obama make the distinction when he said he would send in troops into Pakistan if they didn't cooperate with us in weeding out OBL and his cohorits from the tribal regions?
Similarly Obama made the argument that we had to stop air raiding villages and killing civilians. When he carries out drone attacks are they somehow more discriminating? Can the shrapnel detect civilians versus the Al Qaeda leaders?

jr565 said...

Dead Julius wrote:

Or wait until the next big terror attack on America. When that happens, there will be bloodlust pressure for revenge at a scale that is way beyond what happened after 9/11. Do you think our political establishment will be mature and virtuous enough to channel that public aggression toward the bad regimes and not toward the victimized citizens of those counties? I think not. Instead, we'll kill innocent men and women and children so that we can all feel a little bit better 'cuz at least we killed somebody.


But wouldn't part of that bloodlust be based on the premise that we didn't in fact recognize our enemies true face and thus allowed ourselves to be attacked?
And even then we might go to war with a country, but we would never make it our goal to slaughter every man woman and child.We didn't do this in Iraq. We deliberately targeted the regime, and Al Qaeda, and then the insurgency which was carrying out a proxy war for either and both of those groups. The problem of course is that there are very few wars nowadays where two armies meet on a field away from all civilian areas and duke it out.

And while I recognize that you want to blame the US for all things, but even in your example you suggest that we will be attacked by radical islamists again? Are they distinguishing between the guilty among us versus the civilians? And when for example, imams daily scream death to america in Iran are they saying Death to America, except for the good americans who should continue living?
Point being, there is a whole lot of dehumanization being directed towards us already, which is feeding terrorists desire to attack us. And they don't discriminate.

c3 said...

but toward Muslims in general... those peaceful, family-oriented, workaday Muslims who are forced into the religion by their regime.

This comment is meant in some perverse way to be supportive of muslims?

former law student said...

Reverend Franklin Graham

I'm glad Mullah Graham has been heard from.

you're desacribing what muslims view jews under shariah law (ie lower than dogs.) they even have rules built into the law about how to clean yourself if you should be defiled by touching of an unclean jew (i'm serious).

Just where is that in the Qu'ran? My copy leaves it out.

I note that similar claims are made about what the Talmud requires of Jews -- these however I know to be unsupported.

Hagar said...

I think Obama is greatly impressed with his own awesomeness.
That of Christ or the Prophet; not so much.

William said...

From Einstein to Snookie, the beliefs and values of any human being on earth contains at least 50% crap. The prophets and wise men of any era are only slightly better than the age in which they live......My family emigrated from Ireland in the early 19th century, and I haven't been to church in decades. I would, nonetheless, describe myself as Irish-Catholic. Perhaps something like that is going on with Obama.......Suicide bombers are hitting wedding celebrations and children lined up at ice cream trucks. The insane blood lust that Dead Julius warns us about is rather more common to Muslim lands than to America. When I remarked that 50% of our values and beliefs are crap, I neglected to mention that the proportion is much higher in Muslim lands.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:

Of course the Quran isn't enough, you need hadith as well.

If you have questions about Islamic law, these guys can help:

http://www.islam.tc/cgi-bin/askimam/cat.pl?c=Purity%20(Tahaarah)

Or maybe you can just tell them they aren't "real" Muslims.


As for the "do Muslims consider Obama a Muslim" question, according to that right-wing rag The New York Times this is true:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/opinion/12luttwak.html

In Islam, however, there is no such thing as a half-Muslim. Like all monotheistic religions, Islam is an exclusive faith.

As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.

Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.

His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).

With few exceptions, the jurists of all Sunni and Shiite schools prescribe execution for all adults who leave the faith not under duress; the recommended punishment is beheading at the hands of a cleric, although in recent years there have been both stonings and hangings. (Some may point to cases in which lesser punishments were ordered — as with some Egyptian intellectuals who have been punished for writings that were construed as apostasy — but those were really instances of supposed heresy, not explicitly declared apostasy as in Senator Obama’s case.)

former law student said...

gh:

I already addressed Mullah Edward N. Littwuk's knowledge.

We are all born Muslim, as I pointed out in another thread.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:

Yes, there are rules about how purify yourself after touching unclean Jews. Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians are not normally unclean unless they've touched something unclean and you know it, but all other religions, and atheists, are impure if you know what they are.

http://www.al-islam.org/code-of-practice-for-muslims-in-west/7.htm

The Ahlul Kitab (that is, the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians) are ritually pure (tahir) as long as you do not know that they have become ritually impure (najis) by coming into contact with an impure object. You can follow this ruling when dealing with them.

You can assume the ritual purity (taharat) of any person that you meet and shake hands with (even if that person's hand is wet) as long as you do not know his faith and religion - in such cases you can assume that he might be a Muslim or one of the Ahlul Kitab. Moreover, it is not obligatory for you to ask him in order to ascertain his religion; that is, even if doing so does not put you or him in any inconvenience.

Perhaps you'd better write them and explain since it's not in the Quran Muslims shouldn't do these things.

Saudi Arabia refuses Israeli flights over its airspace because airborne Jews contaminate the holy places:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/170624

Perhaps you'd better write to the Saudi embassy and tell them they are practicing Islam wrong.

Revenant said...

Obama has a Muslim name. If you don't know anything else about him and/or don't pay attention to the news, "Muslim" would be the sensible guess for his religion.

Why the percentage is *increasing* is a mystery.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:

I already addressed Mullah Edward N. Littwuk's knowledge.

Will Imam Reza do?

http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=5025

Even the terms used by the shari'a for apostates give the idea of treason to this whole phenomenon. "Murtad" means apostate. Murtad can be of two types: fitri and milli.
(1) Murtad Fitri means a person born of a Muslim parent and then he rejects Islam. Fitri means nature or natural. The term "murtad fitri" implies that the person has apostated from his nature, the nature of believing in God.
(2) "Murtad Milli" means a person who converted to Islam and then later on he rejects Islam. Milli is from millat which means a community. The term "murtad milli" implies that the person has apostated from his community.
In the first case, the apostacy is like treason against God; whereas in the second case, the apostacy is like treason against the Muslim community. Probably, that is why there is also a difference in dealing with these two kinds of murtads:
A former kafir who became a Muslim and then apostates (Murtad Milli) is given a second chance; if he repents, then he is not to be killed.
But one who is born as a Muslim and then apostates (Murtad Fitri) he is to be killed even if he repents. His repentance might be accepted by Allah but he still has to go through the punishment prescribed for his treason in this world.
This punishment is only applicable in case of apostacy by men; in case of women, the punishment is not death but life imprisonment. And if such a woman repents, then her repentance is accepted and the punishment is suspended.


Do write and tell them they are doing it wrong, that you've read the Quran and so you know what actually is part of Islam and is not.

AllenS said...

If you went to a Muslim country, pick one, and you asked them if Obama was a Muslim, I'll bet the yes answer would be a hell of a lot more than 20%.