Barack Obama refutes Islamic claims

United States Senator Barack Obama has hit out at "malicious, irresponsible" claims that he was educated at an Islamic fundamentalist school in Indonesia, insisting he has "never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim".

Obama's campaign team at first decided not to respond to the claim, published in the conservative Insight magazine, which cited unnamed sources close to the campaign of Obama's rival Senator Hillary Clinton.

But when she made the madrassa question a staple of every TV interview, he decided to strike back. "To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago," his statement said.

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