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Real Sources vs. Anonymous Sources

In his newest column, Daniel Pipes makes the case that Barack Obama is not being as forthcoming as he should be about Islamic elements in his background:

Obama’s half-sister recalled that the family attended the mosque “for big communal events.” Watson learned from childhood friends that “Obama sometimes went to Friday prayers at the local mosque.” Barker found that “Obama occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers.” One Indonesia friend, Zulfin Adi, states that Obama “was Muslim. He went to the mosque. I remember him wearing a sarong” (a garment associated with Muslims). …
Obama’s having been born and raised a Muslim and having left the faith to become a Christian make him neither more nor less qualified to become president of the United States. But if he was born and raised a Muslim and is now hiding that fact, this points to a major deceit, a fundamental misrepresentation about himself that has profound implications about his character and his suitability as president.

Notice that these are not anonymous sources, not “former associates” or “people in a position to know.” These are people using their own names, including members of Obama’s family. These are much more difficult claims to dispute than “sources say.”

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