Quranic Studies

All Indonesian students are required to study religion at school and a young Barry Soetoro, being registered as a Muslim, would have been required to study Islam daily in school. He would have been taught to read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.

In his autobiography, "Dreams...," Obama mentions studying the Quran and describes the public school as "a Muslim school."

"In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Koranic studies."

According to Tine Hahiyary, one of Obama's teachers and the principal of the Besuki School from 1971 through 1989, Barry actively took part in the Islamic religious lessons during his time at the school. His teacher was named Maimunah and she lived in the Puncak area, the Cianjur Regency.

In addition to his studies at besuki, Barry also attended "mengaji" classes. Tine said, "I remembered that he had studied 'mengaji' (recitation of the Quran)."

Our guy in Jakarta writes: "The actual usage of the word 'mengaji' in Indonesian and Malaysian societies means the study of learning to recite the Quran in the Arabic language rather than the native tongue. "Mengagi" is a word and a term that is accorded the highest value and status in the mindset of fundamentalist societies here in Southeast Asia. To put it quite simply, 'mengaji classes' are not something that a non practicing or so-called moderate Muslim family would ever send their child to. To put this in a Christian context, this is something above and beyond simply enrolling your child in Sunday school classes."

"The fact that Obama had attended mengaji classes is well known in Indonesia and has left many there wondering just when Obama is going to come out of the closet." As Plato said, the images and stories we feed our children affect them for life.

"As I've stated before, the evidence seems to quite clearly show that both Ann Dunham and her husband Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo were in fact devout Muslims themselves and they raised their son as such."

Obama's half-sister, Maya, recalled that the family attended the mosque "for big communal events," and "Obama occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers."

In 2007, classmate Rony Amiris described young Barry as enjoying football and playing marbles and of being a very devout Muslim. Amir said, "Barry was previously quite religious in Islam."

"We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house. If he was wearing a sarong he looked funny," said Rony.

Amiris now the manager of the Bank Mandiri, Jakarta, recently said, "Barry was previously quite religious in Islam. His birth father, Barack Hussein Obama was a Muslim economist from Kenya. Before marrying Ann Dunham, Hussein Obama was married to a woman from Kenya who had seven children. All the relatives of Barry's father were very devout Muslims."

Rony extrapolates further, that Obama at one point had to change his religion if he ever intended later to run for the office of President of the United States because America would never elect a Muslim to the be President of the United States.

Also in 2007, Emirsyah Satar, CEO of Garuda Indonesia, was quoted as saying, "He (Obama) was often in the prayer room wearing a 'sarong', at that time. He was quite religious in Islam but only after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion."