Madonna says she was being "ironic" in calling Obama a Muslim
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna said on Tuesday she was being deliberately "ironic on stage" when she erroneously referred to President Barack Obama during her concert in the nation's capital as a "black Muslim."
A video clip posted on YouTube by audience members at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington captured the 54-year-old singer delivering a rousing, profanity-laced political speech about freedom during her show on Monday.
"Now, it's so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House ... we have a black Muslim in the White House ... it means there is hope in this country, and Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man," Madonna said.
Obama, campaigning to be re-elected on November 6, is widely known to be a practicing Christian.
Responding to a media furor unleashed by the YouTube video, Madonna issued a statement on Tuesday through her spokeswoman saying her reference to Obama's religion was facetious.
"I was being ironic on stage. Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim - though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were?
"The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don't care what religion Obama is - nor should anyone else in America," she said.
Since Obama's first presidential run in 2008, fringe groups and a smattering of opponents have espoused rumors that he is secretly a Muslim, similar to persistent but unfounded assertions by some political foes that he was born outside the United States. Continued...