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In which John Green examines the question of whether President Barack Obama is a Muslim in the wake of a recent opinion poll showing that more than one fifth of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. Along the way, the five pillars of Islam are discussed: belief in the unity of God and the prophethood of Muhammad (shahada), prayer (salat), alms-giving (zakat), fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage (hajj).

Thanks to Valerie, Ryan, Sierra, Esther, and Geri for research assistance is compiling this video.


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(0:00) Good morning Hank, it's Sunday.

(0:01) Bonus video. So, an opinion poll last week found that more than 20% of Americans believe that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, is a Muslim.

(0:08) Now, Obama has repeatedly said that he is a Christian. But he also repeatedly said he'd allow us to import prescription drugs from Canada, and that hasn't happened. So, instead of taking Obama's word that he is not a Muslim, I thought today we could do an analysis of what we know about Barack Obama, and what we know about Islam and come to our own conclusions.

(0:22) So the five most central facets of Islamic belief and practice are known as the Five Pillars of Islam. The first is the shahadah, the recitation and the belief in the statement that there is no deity other than God and that Muhammad is God's prophet. You're not a Muslim until you say and believe the shahadah. Now, we can't prove that President Obama has never said the shahadah but we also can't prove that he hasn't said it, so let's move on.

(0:41) The second pillar is prayer. Now, as many of us know, observant Muslims pray at least five times a day: dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nighttime. And it just so happens that we know a lot about Barack Obama's daily schedule because he's the President. So, for instance we know that on April 8th 2010, during evening prayers, Obama was having dinner with Dmitry Medvedev (who, you will be surprised to learn, did not emerge from that dinner saying, "Oh my God! Barack Obama pulled out a prayer rug, turned it in the direction of the Kaaba and proceeded to pray.") We also know that on April 5th 2010, during noon prayers, Barack Obama was hosting the White House Easter Egg hunt. Nobody at that event notice Barack Obama, prostrate on the ground, praying in Arabic.

(1:20) The third pillar of Islam is zakat. Zakat is almsgiving: Muslims are required to give 2.5% of their wealth every year to the poor. The public has access to a lot of Obama's tax returns and, between 2000 and 2005, he and Michelle gave an average of less than 1% of their income to charity. Meaning, that in addition to being a bit of a tight-wad, Barack Obama was not performing zakat.

(1:40) The fourth pillar is Sawm, or fasting. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between dawn and dusk. Ramadan began this year on August 11th. On August 17th, a photographer snapped this picture of Barack Obama ordering lunch. Which he proceeded to eat in front of hundreds of people. In fact, the President has been seen eating and drinking during the day pretty much every single day of Ramadan.

(2:03) The fifth pillar is hajj, or pilgrimage. Muslims who can afford to do so and are able-bodied are obligated to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives. Obama has not yet made this trip, although there is still time, but it's unlikely he ever will, for this reason: the Saudi government will not let you into Mecca if you are not a Muslim. And Barack Obama is not a Muslim.

(2:22) So, while it's possible that Barack Obama has said shahadah at some private moment that we don't know about, he completely and spectacularly fails to follow and of the other pillars of Islam. So, we don't even have to get into the fact that he drinks beer and eats pork hot dogs humorously. This leaves one of two possibilities, Hank: either President Obama is not a Muslim or he is a really bad Muslim. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a Muslim; President Obama just isn't one. He's also not Jewish, not a baby and not the starting left-fielder for the New York Yankees.

(2:48) So, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, CNN, Fox News: maybe we can find something else to talk about!

Hank, I'll see you tomorrow.

(2:54) Oh, and P.S. this suit? It isn't all business.