Obama: muslim smear offensive to muslims

I asked in January why Obama didn't do more to defend Islam rather than just distance himself from the muslim smear. Since that time a number of other articles in the popular media as well as the blogsphere have followed suit. Now, 60 Minutes had a segment yesterday that dealt in part with the muslim smear, in which Obama directly addresses the smear:

"This has been a systematic email smear campaign that's been going on since, actually, very early in this campaign. Clearly it's a deliberate effort by some group or somebody to generate this rumor. I have never been a Muslim, am not a Muslim. These emails are obviously not just offensive to me, but its also offensive to Muslims, because it plays into, obviously, a certain fear-mongering there."

Obama doesn't go as far as the Jerry Seinfeldism we'd all like to hear him say ("not that there's anything wrong with that") but others from his church do make that explicit. As I mentioned earlier, muslims probably need to be content with this from him for now because the smear is indeed a barrier to the nomination. The Clinton campaign is not pure as driven snow here. But once the nomination is secured, we can expect much more from Obama. And we should.

UPDATE: Ali Eteraz also has the video and transcript up. He urges all muslim bloggers to do the same.

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