An ABC News poll from last September indicated that 46 percent of Americans express an unfavorable opinion of Islam. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll from last summer indicated that 54 percent of the American people would not vote for a Muslim for president.
Obama's autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," details the freshman senator's early life, including how his parents -- a secular Muslim named Barack Hussein Obama Sr. and a secular Christian Ann Dunham, who lived in Hawaii -- divorced when he was only 2.
When Obama was 6, his mother remarried Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian oil company manager, and the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama's sister was born. In "Dreams from My Father," Obama writes that like "many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths."
When he was 10, Obama moved back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents and attend the Punahou School.
Obama addressed faith in public life at a church last summer.
"I was not raised in a particularly religious household, as undoubtedly many in the audience were. My father, who returned to Kenya when I was just 2, was born Muslim but as an adult became an atheist," he said. "My mother, whose parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists, was probably one of the most spiritual and kindest people I've ever known, but grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion herself. As a consequence, so did I."
Obama eventually became a devout Christian and member of Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago.