In a Middle Eastern twist on the unproven conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is a Muslim, Arab media commentators have claimed that the American president is supportive of Iran because his father was a Shiite, media watchdog MEMRI reported on Wednesday.
During an interview on Hiwar TV, broadcasting from London, Syrian writer Muhyiddin Lazikani said, “Barack Hussein Obama is the son of a Shiite Kenyan father,” adding that the “childhood memories of the man who rules the White House are Shiite memories,” influencing his pro-Iranian foreign policy stance. He noted that, “this is why he is so anxious for Iran to emerge victorious,” and to see the Sunni Gulf states lose their regional influence.
Lazikani tried to stress that he was “not peddling some theory,” nor was he “being racist,” claiming that his assertions regarding President Obama’s Shiite pedigree were factual. “He spent most of his childhood in Mombasa, Kenya,” said Lazikani. “I visited this very area, and I can tell you that it is mostly Shiite.”
Lazikani was not alone in making the baseless assertion. The London-based Iranian opposition activist, Abu Muntasir Al-Baloushi, speaking on Saudi 4Shbab TV, said that, “Barack Hussein Obama is the son of a Shiite father,” leading “some people [to] call him the Iranian lobby in America.”
Al-Baloushi said that Obama viewed the world through the Shiite political-religious prism, in that, “wherever we go the Sunnis are fighting us.” His solution, according to Baloushi was “Shiite expansionism,” which he allegedly is imposing on “Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran and Afghanistan.”
Since President Obama – then still a Senator from Illinois – announced his run for the presidency, speculation has been rampant about his religious beliefs. Many of the rumors asserted that he was a Muslim, based on his father’s religious origins, his middle name, “Hussein,” and the fact that he grew up in predominantly-Muslim Indonesia.
The President has gone on record multiple times correcting these false rumors, and asserting that he is, indeed, a believing and practicing Christian.