Obama is a Shia, and other bizarre theories...

Obama is a Shia, and other bizarre theories...
2 min read
09 Jun, 2015
Former Iraqi MP claims US president Barack Obama grew up a Shia Muslim, and that his middle name - Hussein - is proof of his sectarian preferences.
Obama has been accused of being Shiite in the past [Alex Wong/Getty Images]

A controversial former Iraqi MP has claimed US President Barack Obama is a Shia, saying his good relations with Iran and his middle name - Hussein - is all the proof needed.

In an interview on an Arabic-language television channel, Taha al-Lahibi said: "I'll say it even though some might laugh, Obama grew up with a Shia father, Obama's father Hussein is a Shia, and his mother is a Shia."

Lahibi said Obama's middle name, also Hussein, which is the same as Shia Islam's holiest martyr, was further proof of his background. "The way Obama sees it is, if he's going to help out he'll side with the Iranian Shia," he added.

Iraqi internet users mocked the comments of the former MP, who has a record of making outlandish claims.

In April, Lahibi said the Islamic state group [IS] was created by "the Assad regime with the help of Iran and it was later infiltrated by the US" and IS ideology was similar to the "Muslim Brotherhood's tafkiri school of thought".

He was also been ridiculed for alleging the residents of the predomitanly Shia city of al-Amara were of "Indian orgins".

Rumours of Obama secretly being a Muslim have been rife since he campaigned for the US presidency in 2008. Obama was raised by his mother Ann Dunham and her Christian parents, and his estranged father has been described as a Muslim who lost his faith.

Although conspiracy theories that Obama is crypto-Muslim have been proven wrong many times, last year a poll showed that 54 percent of American Republicans thought Obama was a Muslim "deep down".

This is not the first time Obama has been called a Shia despite the fact that Obama's father comes from Kenya, where vast majority of Muslims follow Sunni Islam.

In 2008, a resident of Baghdad's giant Shia slum Sadr city told Time magazine, "I will tell you a secret that the Americans don't know, their next president is a Shia."

He added that when Obama won the presidency, "It was a big day in Sadr City. Many people felt, now we have a brother in the White House."