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Angie Drobnic Holan
By Angie Drobnic Holan January 11, 2008

Not a Muslim; not Mohammed

An anonymous chain e-mail claims Barack Obama could be a covert Muslim and his middle name is Mohammed. (For more on this e-mail and its claims, read our story here .)

First off, Barack Obama's middle name is not Mohammed; it's Hussein. He was named after his father, a Kenyan who came to the United States from Africa as a student.

The e-mail also raises the possibility that Obama is a "covert" Muslim at the same time it attacks his membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ, a Christian denomination. This claim seems contradictory at best.

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Earlier this year, Obama spokeman Robert Gibbs said, "To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago." We find this claim to be so wrong we give it our Pants on Fire rating.

UPDATE: Barack Obama resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ on May 31, 2008, after church pastor Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. made controversial remarks about U.S. foreign policy and other matters. Obama said he intends to join another church after the election.

Our Sources

Web site for Trinity United Church of Christ

Statement from the Trinity United Church of Christ

Statement from the Barack Obama campaign

Interview with Martin E. Marty , retired historian

Interview with Dwight Hopkins of the University of Chicago

Interview with Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center

Interview with John C. Green of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Hannity & Colmes, Obama's Pastor: Rev. Jeremiah Wright , March 2, 2007

New York Times, A candidate, his minister and a search for faith , April 30, 2007

Associated Press, Obama's activist church enters spotlight , March 20, 2007

New York Times, Disinvitation by Obama Is Criticized , March 6, 2007

Chicago Tribune, Pastor inspires "audacity to hope" , Jan. 21, 2007

Barack Obama Senate office, Call to Renewal Keynote Address , June 28, 2006

Read the full text of the anonymous e-mail here .

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Not a Muslim; not Mohammed

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