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Thread: Muslims Barred From Picture At Obama Event

  1. #1
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    Muslims Barred From Picture At Obama Event

    [url]http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/11168.html[/url]

    [QUOTE]Muslims barred from picture at Obama event
    By BEN SMITH | 6/18/08 11:08 AM EST Updated: 6/18/08 3:07 PM EST


    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.

    “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,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.”

    Building a human backdrop to a political candidate, a set of faces to appear on television and in photographs, is always a delicate exercise in demographics and political correctness. Advance staffers typically pick supporters out of a crowd to reflect the candidate’s message.

    When Obama won the North Carolina primary amid questions about his ability to connect with white voters, for instance, he stood in front of a group of middle-aged white women waving small American flags.

    On the Republican side, a Hispanic New Hampshire Democrat, Roberto Fuentes, told Politico that he was recently asked, and declined, to contribute to the “diversity” of the crowd behind Sen. John McCain at a Nashua event.

    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 highlight 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 at times seem to imply to some 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.”

    In Detroit on Monday, the two different Obama volunteers — in separate incidents — made it clear that headscarves wouldn’t be in the picture. The volunteers gave different explanations for excluding the hijabs, one bluntly political and the other less clear.

    In Aref’s case, there was no ambiguity.

    That incident began when the volunteer asked Aref’s friend Ali Koussan and two others, Aref’s brother Sharif and another young lawyer, Brandon Edward Miller, whether they would like to sit behind the stage. The three young men said they would but mentioned they were with friends.

    The men said the volunteer, a 20-something African-American woman in a green shirt, asked if their friends looked and were dressed like the young men, who were all light-skinned and wearing suits.

    Miller said yes but mentioned that one of their friends was wearing a headscarf with her suit.

    The volunteer “explained to me that because of the political climate and what’s going on in the world and what’s going on with Muslim Americans, it’s not good for [Aref] to be seen on TV or associated with Obama,” said Koussan, a law student at Wayne State University.

    Both Koussan and Miller said they specifically recalled the volunteer citing the “political climate” in telling them they couldn’t sit behind Obama.

    “I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. Are you serious?’” Koussan recalled.

    Shimaa Abdelfadeel’s story was different. She’d waited in line outside the Joe Louis Arena for three hours in the sun and was walking through the giant hall when a volunteer approached two of her non-Muslim friends, a few steps ahead of her, and asked if they’d like to sit in “special seating” behind the stage, said one friend, Brittany Marino, who, like Abdelfadeel, is a recent University of Michigan graduate who works for the university.

    When they said they were with Abdelfadeel, the volunteer told them their friend would have to take off the headscarf or stay out of the special section, Marino said. They declined the seats.

    After recovering from the shock of the incident, Abdelfadeel went to look for the volunteer and confronted her minutes later, she said in an e-mail interview with Politico.

    “We’re not letting anyone with anything on their heads like baseball [caps] or scarves sit behind the stage,” she paraphrased the volunteer as saying, an account Marino confirmed. “It has nothing to do with your religion!”

    In most work and school settings, religious dress — such as Jewish yarmulkes, Sikh turbans and Muslim hijabs — is permitted where secular clothing, such as baseball caps, is not.

    “The scarf is not just something she can take off — it’s part of her identity,” said Marino.

    Photographs of the event also show men with hats in the section behind Obama and former Vice President Al Gore, though not directly behind the candidate.

    Abdelfadeel, like Aref, felt “disappointed, angry and let down,” she later wrote.

    She said she was “let down that the Obama campaign continuously perpetuates this attitude towards Muslims and Arabs — as if being merely associated [with] one is a sin.”

    The two women’s friends who witnessed the incidents were disappointed, too. Aref’s friend Miller said he was “shocked” by the contrast between Obama’s message and their experience.

    “He was the one candidate who you would expect to stand up for something like that — and behind the scenes, you have something completely contrary to what he was running on,” said Koussan, Aref’s other friend.

    Aref and her friends complained to the campaign, and after those complaints and an inquiry from Politico, Obama’s director of advance, Emmett S. Beliveau, called her to apologize.

    An Obama aide also noted that the campaign has no policy against the candidate’s appearing with women in headscarves: The next morning at Wayne State University, Obama posed for a picture with a student wearing a hijab.

    Photographs from a Seattle rally earlier this year also clearly show a couple in Muslim garb behind the candidate.

    The administrator of the Muslims4Obama group on Obama’s website, which is not a formal part of the campaign, also said she had “not heard anything regarding Muslim supporters being steered away from sitting behind Sen. Obama at the event” and noted that he had Muslim supporters present at events in Minnesota, including one at which he stood with a Muslim member of Congress, Keith Ellison.

    Aref said she was glad Obama had apologized, but she was not entirely satisfied.

    “I think this is a much bigger deal than maybe they’re perceiving it as,” she said, noting that Obama had placed a personal call to a television reporter he’d dismissively called “Sweetie.”

    “An apology from him personally would be better,” she said, then reconsidered. “If they are true to their word, I think it would suffice to have an invitation to their next rally and have seats behind him and show up on TV.”
    [/QUOTE]


    Unifier my @ss.....

  2. #2
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    Another dumb*ss post from the Dumb and Dumber crew. Did you just have your grade-school graduation, or have you just arrived from another planet? Your disingenuous "naivete" is really bottom-sucking nonsense. This is politics, on both sides of the aisle. McCain is worried about being seen as the candidate of "rich whiteys" while Obama is worried about, well, guys like you, who are so incredibly bigoted that you try to find any tiny point on which that candidate doesn't fit into the homogenous, flag-pin wearing cult and attack it like a shark smelling blood.

    Grow up already. This stuff is an utter waste of our time.

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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2591093][url]http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/11168.html[/url]




    Unifier my @ss.....[/QUOTE]

    Don't feign outrage when you've constantly called him 'Hussein' and 'Osama' on numerous occassions. I'm sure this was the turning point in you deciding not to vote for him :rolleyes:

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    Dopey Dean and his boyfriend, [B]Come Back to Earth[/B], exist at this site purely to make us feel better about ourselves. After reading their posts you find yourself saying things like; "Thank God I'm not that stupid" or "how do they manage to perform basic functions every day?" or "are they given drivers licenses or do they ride bicycles to get to their jobs at Chuck E. Cheese"

    Its clear that the bicycle helmets were optional.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 06-19-2008 at 07:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    So you lefties who normally are outraged at racism and bigotry, dismiss it when your candidate practices it.

    Interesting........

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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2591105]So you lefties who normally are outraged at racism and bigotry, dismiss it when your candidate practices it.

    Interesting........[/QUOTE]

    Instead they attack the messenger. What kind of "CHANGE" is the Obama campaign showing here? In all seriousness, this is a big PR misstep for them.

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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2591093][url]http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/11168.html[/url]




    Unifier my @ss.....[/QUOTE]

    Because its not about change, its about passing the torch. Big difference.

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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2591111]Instead they attack the messenger. What kind of "CHANGE" is the Obama campaign showing here? [B]In all seriousness, this is a big PR misstep for them.[/QUOTE][/B]

    That's a legitimate point worth debating. The rest is DPF's usual wide-eyed, aw-shucks bottom-feeding routine. I'm reminded of that line in Casablanca, when the Germans make Reneau shut down the casino. He suddenly announces: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!" just as someone comes up and gives him his winnings from the roulette table.

    Yeah, we're really shocked that politicians try to control their public image. Let's take the opposite situation: Obama has two women in birkahs behind him. CBNY and DPF start howling about the Islamic terrorist conspiracy and Hussein's "true" beliefs. Fox News and the McCain camp (not directly, of course, as that would be not nice) make sure that picture is floated in every corner of the conservative regions of the country... letting the picture imply that Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim, not to mention THE ENEMY!!!! Well, you get the point. Meanwhile, Obama's people are busy using McCain's lilly-white crowd to emphasize that he's not for the little guy and he's not even close to being diverse. And so it goes.... surprise, surprise.

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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2591126][/B]

    That's a legitimate point worth debating. The rest is DPF's usual wide-eyed, aw-shucks bottom-feeding routine. I'm reminded of that line in Casablanca, when the Germans make Reneau shut down the casino. He suddenly announces: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!" just as someone comes up and gives him his winnings from the roulette table.

    Yeah, we're really shocked that politicians try to control their public image. Let's take the opposite situation: Obama has two women in birkahs behind him. CBNY and DPF start howling about the Islamic terrorist conspiracy and Hussein's "true" beliefs. Fox News and the McCain camp (not directly, of course, as that would be not nice) make sure that picture is floated in every corner of the conservative regions of the country... letting the picture imply that Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim, not to mention THE ENEMY!!!! Well, you get the point. Meanwhile, Obama's people are busy using McCain's lilly-white crowd to emphasize that he's not for the little guy and he's not even close to being diverse. And so it goes.... surprise, surprise.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with what you are saying. I'm still voting for Obama over McCain based upon the issues, but I'm not necessarily drinking the kool aid anymore regarding Obama's rhetoric that he's going to do things differently than they were in the past.

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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2591126][/B]

    That's a legitimate point worth debating. The rest is DPF's usual wide-eyed, aw-shucks bottom-feeding routine. I'm reminded of that line in Casablanca, when the Germans make Reneau shut down the casino. He suddenly announces: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!" just as someone comes up and gives him his winnings from the roulette table.

    Yeah, we're really shocked that politicians try to control their public image. Let's take the opposite situation: Obama has two women in birkahs behind him. CBNY and DPF start howling about the Islamic terrorist conspiracy and Hussein's "true" beliefs. Fox News and the McCain camp (not directly, of course, as that would be not nice) make sure that picture is floated in every corner of the conservative regions of the country... letting the picture imply that Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim, not to mention THE ENEMY!!!! Well, you get the point. Meanwhile, Obama's people are busy using McCain's lilly-white crowd to emphasize that he's not for the little guy and he's not even close to being diverse. And so it goes.... surprise, surprise.[/QUOTE]

    What this shows is that the whole "Hussein" issue is getting to Obama and his campaign, and he is making "damage control decisions". For someone who is running on "Change" he is looking like "business as usual". Hey, you are in Michigan, there are alot of devout Muslims in Michigan, so why be ashamed to have two women in headscarves behind you? Is he trying to hide from something, or is he avoiding controversy? In any case, quite contradictory to his supposed message of "CHANGE" and becoming a "unifier".

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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2591095]Another dumb*ss post from the Dumb and Dumber crew.

    ...

    Grow up already. This stuff is an utter waste of our time.[/QUOTE]
    Really touches a nerve, huh?

    The simple facts are this: the man who transcends race, gender, time, and space - simply shoves headdressed Muslims from his photo ops.

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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2591105]So you lefties who normally are outraged at racism and bigotry, dismiss it when your candidate practices it.

    Interesting........[/QUOTE]
    Because it's politics.

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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2591126][/B]Yeah, we're really shocked that politicians try to control their public image. Let's take the opposite situation: Obama has two women in birkahs behind him. CBNY and DPF start howling about the Islamic terrorist conspiracy and Hussein's "true" beliefs. Fox News and the McCain camp (not directly, of course, as that would be not nice) make sure that picture is floated in every corner of the conservative regions of the country... letting the picture imply that Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim, not to mention THE ENEMY!!!![/QUOTE]
    You're thinking just like the dopes who got Obama in this jam.

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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2591111]Instead they attack the messenger. What kind of "CHANGE" is the Obama campaign showing here? In all seriousness, this is a big PR misstep for them.[/QUOTE]

    the ironic thing is if this woman sat behind him the same posters would be here starting a thread "Muslims featured in Picture with Obama"

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    [QUOTE=sackdance;2591185]Really touches a nerve, huh?

    The simple facts are this: the man who transcends race, gender, time, and space - simply shoves headdressed Muslims from his photo ops.[/QUOTE]

    yeah because a presidential candidate has nothing better to do than sort through the crowd.

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2591290]the ironic thing is if this woman sat behind him the same posters would be here starting a thread "Muslims featured in Picture with Obama"[/QUOTE]

    You are 100% dead right on this.
    Somehow i doubt Obama had any say as to where those women should sit. This was a bad decision by the organizers of this event, but im sure they were thinking the very thing that Bit said in the quote above.

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2591290]the ironic thing is if this woman sat behind him the same posters would be here starting a thread "Muslims featured in Picture with Obama"[/QUOTE]

    That may be ironic but not nearly as ironic as mulitcultural coalition that discriminates for the sake of apperances.

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2591290]the ironic thing is if this woman sat behind him the same posters would be here starting a thread "Muslims featured in Picture with Obama"[/QUOTE]
    Even if what you fear (and Obama's handlers) fear was true - far less harmful than what occurred. Obama peaked.

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    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;2591378]That may be ironic but not nearly as ironic as mulitcultural coalition that discriminates for the sake of apperances.[/QUOTE]

    The decision was made by low level [B]volunteer[/B] staffers. Not Obama or anyone of importance in his campaign

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    [QUOTE=sackdance;2591202]You're thinking just like the dopes who got Obama in this jam.[/QUOTE]

    No, I'm agreeing with Ohio that the real issue here is the strategic effect of these decisions, even if they're on the level of volunteers. And what it says about the perceived sensitivities of the voters, rightly or wrongly. Sad to say, we live in an attack-politics era where any difference from the cookie cutter middle-America values schtick is bait for the bigotry sharks. It worked in 2000 against McCain in South Carolina; it worked against Kerry in Ohio in 2004; and both sides would be more than happy if they could get to work again in 2008. It's what makes our politics too often so shallow.

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