Barack Obama isn’t a Muslim. What some conservatives suppose is… maybe he is? Yup, calling Obama a Muslim is back in style, because why criticize the president over the economy or civil liberties when you can spread rumors that he likes a different imaginary guy than you do? This week, the right-leaning Washington Times published a five-part series by Islamophobe Daniel Parts about how Obama attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, might have thought of himself as a Muslim when he was a kid, and has a “H-S-N” name so BLARGHA BLARGHA BLARGH REPEAL OBAMA BIN HUSSEIN’S GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF OUR JOBS. (And did the Times plan the release of the story to coincide with September 11? Ew.) Then there was the time last month noted musician and taint Hank Williams was like, “Obama is a Muslim and hates farming!” (Farming?) So yeah, welcome political discourse in the 21st century, y’all. But even if he were a Muslim—which he’s not—would anyone care? We walked around New York to find out and ran into an Occupy protest.
VICE: Would you care if Obama were Muslim?
Marvin, retired: Why would they say he’s a Muslim? If he says he’s a Christian, how come they don’t believe him is the question.
So you wouldn’t care if he was?
I could care less.
Tom, unemployed: No, I wouldn’t care.
Would it bother you at all that he had been lying about it?
I’m kinda hoping he wouldn’t get re-elected anyways so I’m not sure if that would really be a key factor there. I think really if he was lying it would bother me, but it would bother me more if he was re-elected.
Marcos, maintenance worker: It wouldn’t matter to me.
Would you think it was weird if he did lie about it?
No if he lied about it I wouldn’t blame him for lying about it. People got this thing where they look at Muslims and automatically want to lump them in with terrorists. If people were to find out he was Muslim he would’ve never become president.
Mostafa, concession stand operator: Not really. You’re religion is between you and God, so you can have whatever religion you want. All religions are good. So I don’t care about his religion, I’m not even curious about it.
Would you think it was weird if he lied about it?
Yeah that’s kinda weird. If you're not going to be loyal to your religion, you’re not going to be loyal to your country.
Keith, construction worker: I don’t care, I really don’t care. Whatever you want to be, you be… Oh you’re taping me?
Oh it’s not a problem.
Cool. Would you think its weird that he lied about it?
I never heard him talk about it, I don’t think he lied about it.
You never heard about people accusing him of that?
Jim, retired (left): It wouldn’t matter.
Not at all?
But no Sharia law though.
Will, social worker: Obama drank. He drank a beer with that cop and Henry Louis Gates when they had that little beer summit where they sat down and talked it out. If he were Muslim, he wouldn’t have been able to do that.
So that’s why you don’t think he is Muslim?
Muslims can’t drink, they aren’t allowed to drink. He goes to a church. Muslims don’t go to church. A lot of these people that bring up these old things need a reality check.
Sky, Occupier (left): I would not care one bit. As long as he’s being spiritual, that’s all that matters. Personally, I don’t see his faith showing through in the country at all, whether it’s the Christian or the Muslim faith, because both of those religions preach love and harmony and peace, and that’s not what our country is about at this point.
Terrence, Occupier: I really don’t care. We all got our own faiths. I think he’s actually a good man. He’s just taking orders from a higher force.