from Tales from the Trail:

No decision yet on Obama Golden Temple visit: White House

October 20, 2010

Hold onto your, er, hats.

Talk that U.S. President Barack Obama has canceled a visit to The Golden Temple in Amritsar because of a dispute over headgear may be premature, the White House said on Wednesday.temple

Obama answers the question: Why are you a Christian?

September 29, 2010

obama (Photo: President Barack Obama talks with voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 28, 2010/Larry Downing)

President Barack Obama spoke openly about his faith on Tuesday, describing himself as a “Christian by choice” while reiterating his belief in the importance of religious tolerance. Obama, who polls show many Americans think is a Muslim, was asked by a participant at a campaign-style event in Albuquerqe, New Mexico about why he was a Christian.

Religious tension marks Sept. 11 anniversary

September 11, 2010

tension 1Religious tensions are overshadowing the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States where President Barack Obama urged a Christian preacher to abandon a plan to burn copies of the Koran.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama ready for battle with Republicans but wants no war with Islam

September 10, 2010

President Barack Obama may be ready for battle with Republicans over the economy, but he made clear Friday there was one conflict he didn't want -- a war with Islam.

Obama says not worried by “rumors” that he is a Muslim

August 30, 2010

obamaA public opinion poll showing Americans are increasingly convinced, wrongly, that he is Muslim does not trouble him, President Barack Obama said on Sunday.

Chrystia Freeland: Mosque madness and midterms

By Reuters Staff
August 17, 2010

mosque screengrab

On “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour, Reuters global editor at large Chrystia Freeland says President Barack Obama’s speech in support of the Cordoba House cultural centre and mosque that would occupy a building two blocks from Ground Zero in downtown Manhattan displays leadership and conviction.

Did Bloomberg inspire Obama’s speech about NYC Muslim cultural centre?

August 14, 2010

obama mosque 1There was an interesting echo at the White House when President Barack Obama came out in favour of the proposed Cordoba House Muslim cultural centre near the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York (see our news report here).  Controversy about the project, which opponents call the “Ground Zero mosque,” has been swirling in New York for weeks and went national recently when Republicans Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich joined the critics’ campaign. But until the annual Iftar dinner he hosted on Friday evening, the president had kept out of what his spokesman called “a matter for New York City and the local community to decide.”

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama sits down with Rev. Billy Graham

April 25, 2010

President Barack Obama had his first face-to-face talks on Sunday with one of America's top spiritual leaders, the Reverend Billy Graham.

Stupak now target of all sides in abortion debate

March 22, 2010

Up until a few days ago Bart Stupak, an unassuming Democratic congressman from Michigan, was a hero among American activists opposed to abortion rights (who refer to themselves as “pro-life”). This was because Stupak had managed to insert strong language in the House of Representatives version of the healthcare bill aimed at preventing any federal tax  funds from being used for abortion.

Obama’s boyhood Jakarta home district sees shift to stricter Islam

March 18, 2010
jakarta mosque

Indonesian Muslims pray at the Istiqlal Grand Mosque in Jakarta 9 March/Supri

Some things in the central Jakarta district of Matraman have barely changed since the late 1960s, when United States President Barack Obama lived and played there.  Old men train their racing pigeons on the badminton court and screaming children chase each other through the winding, grimy alleyways. But if Obama does decide to drop by his old neighborhood when he visits Indonesia next week, he may notice change around the community’s mosque.