Grandparents often pray for the spiritual well being of their grandchildren. So, in many regards, it's not surprising that Barack Obama's grandmother Sarah Omar would also pray for him. And she's talking about her latest prayer. One that made during a hajj pilgrimage to Mecca:
"I prayed for my grandson Barack to convert to Islam," said Haja Sarah Omar, 88, in an interview with Al-Watan daily held in Jeddah after she had performed Haj.
The paper said that Haja Omar was in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage along with her son, Obama's uncle Saeed Hussein Obama, and four of her grandchildren as guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Muslim proselytizing is apparently nothing new to Omar:
Faisal Ambuya, one of Obama' cousins, who embraced Islam at the hands of the Haja said, "My grandmother is very much interested in calling non-Muslims to Islam and I learned about Islam from her."
"When I will return to my village I will tell the villagers about the strength of Islam," she said.
The Daily Mail notes the timing of Omar's public comments:
But many in the U.S. still believe otherwise. The revelation that his 88-year-old Kenyan grandmother Sarah Omar prayed for him to switch faiths follows a poll which found one in five believes he is a Muslim.
Omar said she would not comment about President Obama's politics. She preferred to stick to "Hajj matters." However:
When asked about her expectations about Obama winning a second term to the White House, Haja chuckled with a side glance at her son Saeed Obama and grandchildren, "Allah alone knows, it is a matter of the unknown future."