Saudi Arabians, including expatriates, are backing Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama.
According to the Arab News, which describes itself as the Arab world's leading English daily newspaper, the reasons for Saudi support of the rookie senator range from his being black to his middle name being Hussein, which has led many Saudis to believe he is a Muslim. Sen. Obama was born to a Muslim father, who had several wives, but the presidential candidate is Christian.
Sen. Obama was born to a Muslim father, who had several wives, but the presidential candidate is Christian.
Arab News quoted Pakistani expatriate Mohammed Yousuf as saying, "Some believed Obama is a Muslim because of his middle name. All the blacks so far in power at various levels have shown their commitment and determination to serve the country and the world without discrimination of color and religion. However, the track record of whites has been to side with Israel rather than with Muslim countries. We now have a ray of hope in Obama."
Arab and Muslim support for Sen. Obama is not universal but few Arab voices are encouraging voters to back Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain. Ali Alarabi, writing for the London-based AlArab web site, wrote last week that Arab and Muslim Americans should not vote for a third candidate instead of Sen. Obama.
He said that initial support for Sen. Obama waned after he made several public moves to remove his identification with Muslims and picked as his running mate Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, a non-Jew who defined himself as a "Zionist."
However, Sen. Obama still maintains a wide appeal among Muslims because of his father having been a Kenyan Muslim. "Many are those who will agree that his message of change and hope is destined for the African audience," wrote for Modern Ghana.com.
In Israel, Arabs so far have generally remained quiet about the presidential campaign, but Hamas leaders said several weeks ago they hope Sen. Obama wins. A group of pro-Obama Gaza students are conducting a telephone campaign aimed at American voters.