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LOS ANGELES, USA – Pop diva Madonna said she was being ironic when she referred to President Barack Obama as a “black Muslim,” while urging fans to vote for him on Monday, Sept. 24.
The 54-year-old singer raised eyebrows with the comments at a concert in which she listed American icons Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King before turning to Obama, of whom she is a well-known supporter.
It was unclear from this video clip of the speech posted on YouTube whether she was tired or being sarcastic:
In a statement from her publicist Wednesday, she explained: “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.”
Controversial sound on tape
“And now it is so amazing and incredible to think we have an African American in the White House,” Madonna can be heard saying on the video, flanked by her troupe of black dancers at the show in Washington DC.
“Am I with you, and are you with me?” Madonna — who at one point admitted to feeling “a little dizzy” and repeatedly sucked on a bottled drink and blinked a lot — asked rhetorically, to whoops from the audience.
“So y’all better vote for… Obama, okay?” she added, before saying: “For better or for worse, all right, we have a black Muslim in the White House. Now that is… some amazing sh*t.
“It means there is hope in this country.”
More than one in 3 conservative Republican voters still think Obama — elected the first African American US president in 2008 — is a Muslim, nearly 4 years after he won power, a study showed earlier this year.
Overall, 17% of 3,000 voters asked in June and July thought Obama was Muslim, despite the Christian churchgoer’s repeated affirmations of his faith.
Obama is fighting for re-election against Republican challenger Mitt Romney and the country votes in 6 weeks’ time, on November 6. – Agence France-Presse