News Kenya How Kenyan Wedding Almost Cost Obama Presidency

How Kenyan Wedding Almost Cost Obama Presidency


  • 44th US President Barack Obama, in his memoirs, A Promised Land, published on November 17, has lifted the lid on how a photo of him at a Kenyan wedding fueled speculation that he was a Muslim

    Obama was in the country for the wedding of his half-brother Malik Obama who is a Muslim. 

    As the best man, it was only fitting that he was dressed in a brown African robe with a white kufi cap. 

    Barack Obama with his brother Malik at the latter's wedding
    Barack Obama with his brother Malik at the latter’s wedding

    The photo was widely used to discredit Obama who was just preparing to vie as a presidential candidate. 

    His critics claimed that he was a Muslim and used the tension with the middle east to disqualify him as a candidate. It also didn’t help that his father was called Barack Hussein Obama Senior. 

    There were reports that Obama had been schooled in an Indonesian madrassa, which gained enough traction that a CNN correspondent traveled to his old elementary school in Jakarta, Indonesia to investigate. 

    The former US President did not let his critics discourage him but as time went on it became hard to ignore some of the more troubling allegations. 

    During rallies, some attendees turned up with signs showing Obama dressed as an African witchdoctor with a bone through his nose.

    “The Tea Party (a wing of the Republican Party) also resurrected and poured gas on an old rumour from the campaign: that not only was I Muslim, but I’d actually been born in Kenya and was therefore constitutionally barred from serving as president,” Obama recounted in his memoirs. 

    Even after successfully winning the election in 2008, the Muslim claims still haunted him with the Republican now changing the narrative that not only was Obama Muslim, he was secret Muslim socialist who had been groomed from childhood and planted in the US to infiltrate the American government.

    The former US president did not respond to most of the reports, no matter how outrageous he thought they were. 

    “I didn’t believe a president should ever publicly whine about criticism from voters. It’s what you signed up for in taking the job and I was quick to remind both reporters and friends that my white predecessors had all endured their share of vicious personal attacks and obstructionism,” he explained. 

    Despite the two half brothers being best men at each other’s weddings, they would later fall out, with Malik supporting outgoing US President Donald Trump. 

    Former US President Barrack Obama (second left) his grandmother Sarah Obama and sister Auma Obama in Kenya in July 2018
    Former US President Barrack Obama (second left) his grandmother Sarah Obama and sister Auma Obama in Kenya in July 2018

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