AS a schoolboy in Jakarta, Barack Obama attended Muslim prayer sessions with his classmates against the wishes of his mother.

The US President’s former grade three teacher said that Mr Obama – who was known as “Barry” when he attended the Menteng One school in Jakarta – studied the Koran and went to classes on Islam, despite the objections of Ann Dunham, a Catholic.

The teacher’s recollections will add to speculation about Mr Obama’s links to Islam during his much-anticipated visit to Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, as part of his ten-day tour of Asia.

His middle name, Hussein, and the fact that his stepfather was a Muslim, have combined to perpetuate rumours about Mr Obama’s religious leanings. The number of Americans who think that he is a Muslim has grown since his inauguration to one in five.

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