(Update) Barack’s half-brother corrects his statement

Original Story:

Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, surfaced the other day in a Jerusalem Post article being quoted as contradicting the claims of Obama’s new anti-smear website. There is discrepancy which is becoming a story not being covered by most media outlets.

Here’s how it breaks down, on Obama’s new anti-smear website, the following is stated:

The truth about Barack Obama’s faith

Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.

However, in the recent article quoting Malik Obama, reported from israelinsider:

“Barack Obama’s half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background. In an interview with Army Radio he expressed a special salutation from the Obamas of Kenya.”

Malik Obama also provided this photo from when they met back in the 1980s:

Malik holds a photo of Obama and him in Muslim dress, reportedly when the two first met in 1985

More from the israelinsider report:

Apparently the Obamas of Kenya have been reading those scurrilous emails to which Barack likes to refer, because they have no doubt — contrary to the claims of the Obama campaign, that the presidential candidate was raised a Moslem. They take that as a given.

The Obama brothers’ father, a senior economist for the Kenyan government who studied at Harvard University, died in car crash in 1982. He left six sons and a daughter. All of his children – except Malik — live in Britain or the United States. Malik and Barack met in 1985 in the US.

“He was best man at my wedding and I was best man at his,” said Malik in a 2004 interview with an AP reporter. Their paternal grandfather, Onyango Hussein Obama, was one of the first Muslim converts in Nyangoma-Kogelo, Malik said.”

In a remarkable denial issued last November that still stands on the official campaign website, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs issued a statement explaining that “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.”

Apparently Malik Obama, himself a Muslim, had not read the press release.

I am not making any conclusions from this information nor do I have a motive for reporting it other than it seems that Obama is denying some of his Muslim background. Not that he’s been a practicing Muslim but that he is denying that he’s ever had ties to his father’s Muslim faith.

I just can’t understand why his campaign is denying each and every aspect of his childhood and upbringing when it comes to his faith.

Draw your own conclusions, just reporting the facts on this.

Major Update

Had to update this and bump it back to the top since now Malik Obama has since clarified what he said. Furthermore, the Jerusalem Post article was apparantly not quoting him directly.

The story on that from Political Punch:

It was a sloppy paraphrase that emerged as false evidence.

Malik Obama, the older half brother of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, gave a brief interview to Israeli Army Radio.

The Jerusalem Post listened to the interview, apparently, and produced a story saying “Malik Obama says his brother will be good president for the Jews. Barack Obama’s half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.”

Nowhere is Malik quoted.

The Jerusalem Post has since taken the story down of its website, but you can see a cached version HERE.

Conservatives jumped on the Jerusalem Post’s paraphrase that Malik said Obama “will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background” as some sort of evidence that Malik was saying Obama was raised a Muslim, which the campaign says he was not.

This suspicion reared its head in Israeli blogs and the blogs of supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Sean Hannity fan sites and Free Republic and conservative blogs.

ABC News got a hold of the audio of Malik’s interview with Israel Army Radio, and Malik said nothing of the kind.

You can’t hear the questions but whatever the interviewer asked about Obama’s father’s Muslim heritage, or the Muslim minority in Kenya, Malik said, “I don’t think that’s in any way going to be something to worry about. I myself am not speaking for him. But we are here, we love people in general. People love us. I myself love people who love me. You know, so, and I think it’s mutual. I can’t go in terms of Israel and Kenya and America, and so forth, you know, but based on what else I’ve heard him say and what I know of him as an individual, I don’t think Israel should worry too much, you know, about the connection. Because, I am a Muslim myself, and I don’t think that my being a Muslim has got anything to do with my brother being the President of the United States.”

It may be that the Israeli Army Radio interviewer asked about Obama having a “Muslim background.” But even if the interviewer did, Malik did not say that or come close to saying that.

It could be that the interviewer used the phrase, and Malik interpreted that in a way that squares with the Obama campaign’s story — that Obama’s father was a largely secular man born Muslim. We don’t know.

But nowhere in there does Malik expressly say anything about Obama having a Muslim background.

Listen to Malik’s answers in the interview:
Malik Obama interview

In the interest of the truth, I had to update this story. This is to anyone accusing me of personal bias in the comments section. I just want to post stories about the campaign as it develops. Since the original Malik Obama story came out, he apparantly went back on the record to correct the paraphrase of his quote. Clearly the Jerusalem Post, which is there the “Muslim background” quote originated from, either screwed up it’s paraphrasing or had some ulterior motive.

I want to present the facts, untarnished by any bias, which is why I update the story and posted the new information. I don’t really like any candidate in this election so I have no problem being objective.