If charges of being a “secret Muslim” weren’t enough, Barack Obama may now need to prove he’s not a secret Hindu as well. According to the Times of India, a group of supporters in New Delhi have sent Obama a two-foot, gold-plated statue of the monkey god Hanuman. According to Indian politician Brijmohan Bhama, “Obama has deep faith in Lord Hanuman and that is why we are presenting an idol of Hanuman to him.” The apparent source of this pronouncement of Obama’s newly-discovered faith is this photo from Time magazine, which shows a collection of lucky charms Obama carries with him, including a small Hanuman charm. They mean well, to be sure, but it’s another example of the world’s inability to let Obama define his own faith. Say what you want—we know what you REALLY believe.
Where did the whole idea of “secret Islam” come from, anyway? The whole concept of holding a secret faith brings to mind the Marranos—Jews who pretended to convert to Christianity during the Inquisition, but continued to practice their true religion behind closed doors. The unintended implication of all those slanderous e-mail forwards is that America is in the midst of its own Inquisition; and the existence of Gitmo doesn’t exactly help matters.
Obama can prove once and for all that he’s not a Muslim, secret or otherwise, by accepting the Hanuman statue. Opposition to idolatry is the bread and butter of Islam, after all. Of course, you can’t expect the kind of person who would forward an e-mail declaring (for example) basic falsehoods about what book a member of the Senate took his oath on to understand the sin of shirk. But with accusations this ridiculous, perhaps there’s only one logical response: take the monkey and run.