Muslim woman: Scarf kept her from seat near Obama - DFWstangs Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Muslim woman: Scarf kept her from seat near Obama,00.html

Originally Posted by FOX News
DETROIT — A young Muslim woman said she and another woman were refused seats directly behind Barack Obama _ and in front of TV cameras _ at a Detroit rally because they wear head scarfs.

Hebba Aref said Wednesday that she and Shimaa Abdelfadeel were among 20,000 supporters who gathered to see the Democratic presidential hopeful on Monday at the Joe Louis Arena when the groups they were with were separately invited by Obama campaign volunteers to sit behind the podium. But Aref said the volunteers told members of both parties in separate discussions that women wearing hijabs, the traditional Muslim head scarves, weren't included in the invitation and couldn't sit behind the podium.

Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer, said a member of her group was told by a volunteer that she could not invite Aref because of "a sensitive political climate."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement saying such actions are "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 this behavior," the statement read.

Aref said she replied by thanking Burton, but requested Obama apologize directly to her and Abdelfadeel, as well as invitations to sit behind him at a future campaign event. Obama spokeswoman Amy Brundage said the campaign has apologized.

"He needs to take the matter seriously and send a strong message against any kind of discrimination," Aref said.

A message was left Wednesday morning by The Associated Press for Abdelfadeel.

Presidential campaigns routinely invite audience members they believe will enhance the image their candidate wants to convey on TV to stand behind the candidate at rallies.

Aref, who was born in the United States to Egyptian immigrants, said she had defended Obama during the primaries against a constant drumbeat of rumors that he was Muslim. Obama is a Christian.

Obama also has been careful in denouncing the links, noting that some rumors about him also have been insulting to Muslims.

"I don't want to be called something I'm not, but I felt like ... everyone was treating this accusation of being Muslim as though it were some sort of crime or sin," Aref said.

She was grateful that the group she was with at the rally, which included her brother, Sharif, as well as non-Muslim colleagues of his, declined the invitation to take seats behind Obama after she was refused.

Still, she said, it was difficult to hear Obama's message of unity among races.

"As he's saying it, I'm thinking, 'Well, wait a minute, I was obviously ... profiled and discriminated against an hour ago.'"

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, i'm surprised people have ignored this one. . . .

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 01:43 PM
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That's just smart politics; he's had enough trouble with the Islam links and is trying to shake every last notion of that image. He knew what was going on, it just backfired on him; you can't please everyone all of the time.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 01:45 PM
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interesting... I can understand the issue with Obama because they do not want to associate him with muslims at all, because his father is muslim, he was born muslim, and his middle name is hussein.

However, this is the line you walk when you run as a democrat - these are the people you say you want to defend and protect. The Obama campaign has constantly moved black people, white people, and muslims into the camera's view intentionally throughout the campaign, this isn't the first time they have race stacked their press conferences. I think it's just ridiculous how much racial promoting his campaign is doing, it's just unreal.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Godmagnus
Wow, i'm surprised people have ignored this one. . . .
The media has been pushing this towards the "temporary" obama people that caused this, you know the ones that they so happen to just pick up off the streets who have no ties with obama or his views.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:25 PM
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Guess he's ashamed of his own people...
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:31 PM
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It's not totally being ignored, but it really isn't that significant to me. It's just the way politics goes with perception. Hell, I remember watching Fox news coverage during one of Obama's speeches and the camera man kept trying to get any picture of a muslim woman they could. At one point the camera stayed on them and kept zooming in and out for a good 20 seconds. It made me laugh pretty hard.

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