A CRACK team of cybernauts will form a rapid-response internet "war room" to track and respond aggressively to online rumours that Barack Obama is a Muslim and unpatriotic.
As he gears up for his general election fight against John McCain, Senator Obama and his chief advisers are aware of the danger of such rumours, amid polling data showing that a significant number of Americans believe he is a Muslim or are suspicious about his background.
...Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for Senator Obama, said the internet team was still being finalised.
She added: "The only way to run a campaign is to respond immediately when inaccurate information is put out. The (emails) are saying he's a Muslim. He's not. He's a Christian. He often brings up the emails that are out there and the smear campaign that's been run against him on the internet. We definitely recognise that getting out the correct information about Senator Obama is to our advantage and to the voters' advantage."
...Despite his long nomination fight against Hillary Clinton, his campaign aides concede that millions of Americans still feel that they do not really know him.
Senator Obama's Kenyan father, who left the family when he was two, was a Muslim, but not particularly religious. The Illinois senator lived in Indonesia from the age of six until 10 with his white, American mother and Indonesian stepfather, who was also a Muslim.
Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, nor worshipped at a mosque.
He moved from being agnostic to finding Christ in his 20s, with the help of his former Chicago pastor: the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a figure whose incendiary sermons now haunt his candidacy and has increased suspicions among some voters about his patriotism.
A poll in mid-March found that 13 per cent of Americans think Senator Obama is a Muslim - a 5 per cent increase since last December. Another found that 23 per cent of Democrats who hold negative views of him believe that he is a Muslim.
The same survey showed that 61 per cent of voters view him as patriotic, compared with 76 per cent for Senator Clinton and 90per cent for Senator McCain.
And so the real question is: how come Obama thinks being Muslim is wrong or at the least, problematic?
Is Islam a bad thing?