Clerics defend Obama amid smear campaign

Condemn "bitter, destructive politics"
A host of religious leaders have condemned “the bitter, destructive politics” that they say produced a political smear campaign against Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.), who is preparing a run for the presidency.

Several Web sites and a Fox News program reported that Obama was hiding the fact that he was educated in a madrassa—a fundamentalist Islamic school—during his childhood in Indonesia.

Obama, who denied the allegations, acknowledged attending a school that enrolled mostly Muslims for two years, as well as a Catholic school for another two while living in Indonesia.

A number of clerics signed an open letter that sharply criticized the tactics.

“We have had enough of the slash- and-burn politics calculated to divide us as children of God,” the letter read. “Certain moral standards should infuse our national dialogue, and the recent attacks on Senator Obama violate values at the heart of this dialogue.”


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