June 18th, 2008 19:16 EST
Two Muslims Barred From Campaign Photo Op Over Hijab
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged Sen. Barack Obama to invite two Muslim women, who were barred from sitting behind the podium at a Michigan rally, to an upcoming campaign event.
Media reports indicate the women were kept from the podium area because campaign volunteers did not want the candidate associated with the women`s Islamic scarves, or hijabs. Campaign officials later apologized to the women.
SEE: Muslims Barred from Picture at Obama Event (Politico.com) http://crm.cair.com/site/R?i=5n1mc1nrt5dSz8QlQ68mXQ..
SEE ALSO: Obama Campaign Apologizes for Excluding Women in Hijab (Detroit News)
SEE ALSO: Head Scarves Led to Decision; Democrat`s Campaign Apologizes (Detroit Free Press)
"We welcome the campaign`s apology and urge candidates of all parties not to give in to pressure from the vocal minority of Islamophobes in our society that seeks to stigmatize Islam and marginalize American Muslims," said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. "All presidential campaigns need to clearly answer the question: Should American Muslims be marginalized from their country`s political process simply because of their faith?"
He said CAIR encourages American Muslims to take part in the political process through initiatives such as voter registration drives and get out the vote campaigns.
SEE: Welcome to CAIR 2008 Elections Website
Saylor added that Obama, to his credit, is the only current presidential candidate known to have met one-on-one with an American Muslim leader during the campaign.
SEE: Local Muslim Leader Met Privately with Obama (Detroit Free Press)
Obama has repeatedly been forced to refute false rumors that he is a Muslim. A poll taken earlier this year indicated that one in ten Americans believes the senator is Muslim.
SEE: Who Thinks Obama is Muslim?
CAIR, America`s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding