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Crypto-Islam is the secret adherence to Islam while publicly professing to be of another faith; people who practice crypto-Islam are referred to as "crypto-Muslims". The word has mainly been used in reference to Spanish Muslims during the Inquisition (i.e., the Moriscos and their usage of Aljamiado). Related to this term are the concepts of crypto-Muslim subgroups, such as crypto-Sunni Muslims and crypto-Shia Muslims. Each of these Muslim subgroups has suffered persecution at various times under various leaders where it was advantageous to appear as part of the dominant (sometimes also Muslim) group.

Some mention was made of the concept during the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign in accusations directed towards President Barack Obama. From 1969 to 1971, Obama attended a secular Indonesian state primary school.[1] Although Obama has family and ancestors with divergent religious views, he has repeatedly stated he is a Christian and has never been a Muslim.[2]

Syed Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Arabic: العباس بن عبد المطلب) (c. 566 – c. 653 AD), a wealthy merchant, was a paternal uncle and companion of Muhammad, only a few years his senior. During the early years of Islam he protected Muhammad while he was in Mecca, but only officially adopted the religion after the Battle of Badr in 624 AD. He concealed his faith, from the Quraishites and was the principal advocate for the Aqaba Pledge. His descendants founded the Abbassid caliphate in 750 AD.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CNN debunks false report about Obama". CNN. 2007-01-22. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Obama Has Never Been A Muslim, And Is a Committed Christian". Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008. November 12, 2007. Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  3. ^ A. B. Huston Smith, Cyril Glasse (2002), The new encyclopedia of Islam, Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, ISBN 0-7591-0190-6

Harvey, L P (2005), Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614, pg. 1-5, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-31963-6