Today a friend forwarded me an e-mail that a friend of his had received with the subject “Let Us Remain Alert!” the contents of which are below:

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black Muslim from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white atheist from Wichita, Kansas.

Obama’s parents met at the University of Hawaii.

When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a radical Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia.

Obama attended a Muslim school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, he was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.

Obama’s political handlers are attempting to make it appear that Obama’s introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son’s education. Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Osama [sic–yes, they slipped that in there too] was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta. Wahabism is the radical teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world.

Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama’s expected presidential candidacy.

Now I see via Atrios, that Fox News has elevated this smear to national television. It seems as a child in Indonesia Obama attended a Muslim school for two years (otherwise known as a madrassa), so obviously he’s a latter-day Manchurian candidate brainwashed and programmed at the age of 7 to grow up to be a gifted orator, run for President and immediately replace the Constitution with Sharia. Seriously. (Incidentally, not that this really deserves a response, but it wasn’t a Wahhabi school.)

On a related note, it’s really bothered me that the word “madrassa” has become synonymous with “terrorist training school.” A madrassa is just a Muslim religious school, like a yeshiva or a Catholic school. Jeffrey Goldberg had a typically hyperventilating piece about Wahhabi madrassas in Pakistan a few years back, which I think was what prompted the madrassa freak-out, but as Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey pointed out in the Times two years ago, there’s absolutely no correlation between madrassa education and terrorism.