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Jakarta school claims part of Obama childhood

Andrew Higgins
Washington Post

Friday, April 9, 2010

JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Long shadowed in the United States by dark rumors that he attended a radical Muslim school while growing up in Indonesia, President Obama faces pressure from some old school pals to finally come clean about the past.

“The truth is clear,” said Indra Madewa, the president’s childhood neighbor, who played daily with the boy he knew as “Barry,” a chubby American from Hawaii. “We know he’s busy, but we just want to refresh his memory.”

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What Madewa and other old friends want to remind Obama about won’t bring any joy to those in the United States who contend that the president is a closet Muslim. The truth, they say, is this: While Obama went to Besuki, a mostly Muslim school, for less than a year, he spent most of his four years in Indonesia studying at Santo Fransiskus Asisi, a Roman Catholic school run at the time by a stern Dutch priest. Classes began and ended each day with Christian prayers.

That Obama went to a Catholic elementary school for a time while living in Jakarta from 1967 to 1971 has long been known. But this part of the presidential biography has largely been reduced to a footnote, thanks to the energetic self-promotion of its rival, Besuki, which is in one of Jakarta’s wealthiest districts.

Full story here. [2]