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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Muslim Women Barred From Photos At Barack Obama Rally In Detroit


I would tend to believe this is not campaign policy as the Barack Obama campaign says, but this still looks bad on so many levels.

Two Muslim women at Barack Obama's rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women's headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.

The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.

It seems that one of the volunteers actually told one of these Muslim women that she could not be seen on TV with Obama "because of the political climate and what’s going on in the world and what’s going on with Muslim Americans,” according to the woman’s friend.

But for Obama, the old-fashioned image-making contrasts with his promise to transcend identity politics and to embrace all elements of America. The incidents in Michigan, which has one of the largest Arab and Muslim populations in the country, also raise an aspect of his campaign that sometimes rubs Muslims the wrong way: The candidate has vigorously denied a false, viral rumor that he himself is Muslim. But the denials seem to some at times to imply that there is something wrong with the faith, though Obama occasionally adds that he means no disrespect to Islam.

"I was coming to support him, and I felt like I was discriminated against by the very person who was supposed to be bringing this change, who I could really relate to," said Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer who lives in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. "The message that I thought was delivered to us was that they do not want him associated with Muslims or Muslim supporters."

Bill Burton, Obama's spokesperson tried to get out in front of this quickly with a statement saying, "This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama's commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run. We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers."

Read the whole thing
... it may not be campaign policy, but it is indicative of the problems Obama has had with some of his supporters, his staffers and now even volunteers.

Gateway Pundit points out that this is not the first time something like this has happened.