'Barack and Hussein are Semitic words. Americans have been named with Semitic names since the founding of the republic. Fourteen of our 43 presidents have had Semitic names (see below). And American English contains many Arabic-derived words that we use every day and without which we would be much impoverished. America is a world civilization with a world heritage, something Cunningham will never understand.
Barack is a Semitic word meaning "to bless" as a verb or "blessing" as a noun. In its Hebrew form, barak, it is found all through the Bible. It first occurs in Genesis 1:22 -- "And God blessed (ḇāreḵə) them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."
Here is a list of how many times barak appears in each book of the Bible.
Now let us take the name "Hussein." It is from the Semitic word hasan, meaning "good" or "handsome." Husayn is the diminutive, affectionate form.
Barack Obama's middle name is in honor of his grandfather, Hussein, a secular resident of Nairobi, Kenya. Americans may think of Saddam Hussein when they hear the name, but that is like thinking of Stalin when you hear the name Joseph. There have been lots of Husseins in history, from the grandson of the prophet Mohammed, a hero who touched the historian Gibbon, to King Hussein of Jordan, one of America's most steadfast allies in the 20th century. The author of the beloved American novel "The Kite Runner" is Khaled Hosseini.
...John Adams really only had Semitic names. His first name is from the Hebrew Yochanan, or gift of God, which became Johan and then John. (In German and in medieval English, "y" is represented by "j" but was originally pronounced "y.") Adams is from the biblical Adam, which also just means "human being." In Arabic, one way of saying "human being" is "Bani Adam," the children of men.
Thomas Jefferson's first name is from the Aramaic Tuma, meaning "twin." Aramaic is a Semitic language spoken by Jesus, which is related to Hebrew and Arabic. In Arabic, twin is tau'am, so you can see the similarity.
James Madison, James Monroe and James Polk all had a Semitic first name, derived from the Hebrew Ya'aqov or Jacob, which is Ya'qub in Arabic. It became Iacobus in Latin, then was corrupted to Iacomus, and from there became James in English.
Zachary Taylor's first name is from the Hebrew Zachariah, which means "the Lord has remembered."
Abraham Lincoln, of course, is named for the patriarch Abraham, from the Semitic word for father, Ab, and the word for "multitude," raham. Abu, "father of," is a common element in Arab names today.' --Juan Cole
Thanks Khalid for posting this!