Obama brother update: Hamas link, Jewish link

Children of Abraham.

Malik Obama in Yemen in 2010
Malik Obama in Yemen in 2010

Malik Obama is Barack Obama’s Kenyan half-brother, and has been known for some time to have problematic connections, including – according to Saudi press reporting – an official role with the Islamic Dawa Organization, and close links to Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the summer of 2013, Egyptian media reported that Malik Obama was named as a person of interest by terror investigators due to his role with the Islamic Dawa Organization, and that there were calls in complaints filed with the Egyptian government for the Obama sibling to be placed on Egypt’s terror watch list.

Now Mr. Obama has posted a photo of himself from 2010, attending a conference in Yemen for the Orphans Development Fund (which apparently sponsors mass marriages as one of its main activities).  In the photo, Malik Obama wears a Hamas scarf bearing the following inscriptions:

The Hamas scarf worn by Islamist notables across the Middle East
The Hamas scarf worn by Islamist notables across the Middle East

“Jerusalem is ours – we are coming!”

“From the river to the sea”

The latter motto is positioned with a map of “Palestine” that encompasses all of Israel. (H/t on above link: Bryan Preston.)

That may not be the oddest recent news about an Obama half-brother.  Mark Obama Ndesandjo, who took his step-father’s name when his mother remarried, was briefly reported on several years ago, when he published a semiautobiographical book, Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East.  Mark Obama is the child of Barack Obama, Sr. and Ruth Baker of Newton, Massachusetts, who married in 1964 (while Obama, Sr. already had his wife in Kenya) and divorced seven years later.  Ruth later married Simeon Ndesandjo, a close associate of Obama, Sr. in Kenyan government circles.

Although Ruth Ndesandjo and Mark Obama Ndesandjo have both refused to state their ages and dates of birth to the media (see last link), that’s not the real oddity about them.  The oddity is that Ruth is the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, and has always fully identified as a secular Jew.  So has Mark Obama Ndesandjo.  This was revealed a few weeks ago in the Israeli media.  In 2011, Mark Obama visited Israel “in secret” to seek the blessing of Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yona Metzger.

Thus, Barack Obama has one half-brother who supports the Islamist terror group Hamas, and another who is Jewish.  (Mark Obama is married to a Chinese woman now, and lives in China.)

Obama with Mark Obama Ndesandjo and wife.
Obama with Mark Obama Ndesandjo and wife.

There is obviously a danger of overthinking these circumstances.  But it is quite fascinating, in an abstract sense, that at this particular juncture in history, there would be in the American Oval Office a president whose step-family spans Jewish, Christian, and Muslim identity.  Whether it spans religious conviction is harder to say – and five years into Obama’s presidency, we can conclude that no imputed endowment of “ecumenical” perspective has had an identifiable impact on its policies.  But the whole thing is certainly interesting.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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2 thoughts on “Obama brother update: Hamas link, Jewish link”

  1. Don’t you miss the simplicity of the Carter years, when the President’s brother was an amiable grafter who liked his beer? (And it was his beer — it had his name right on the can.)

    1. I had the same thought about old Billy.

      We’ve actually had some pretty big, newsily interesting First Families in the past century, from the Roosevelts to the Bushes to that low-class dance hall downstairs, the Kennedys. The Obamas are the first ones that look less like a social archetype than like eschatology come to life.

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