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Muslim Women Receive Apology From Obama Staff - Not Good Enough

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They were barred by campaign volunteers from appearing in visible seats behind Barack Obama, because they were wearing Muslim headscarves. A campaign official apologized to them when it became a news story.

But that’s not good enough; they won’t be happy until they’ve made a presidential candidate grovel: Muslim woman demands an apology from Obama after camera snub.

One of two Muslim women who were denied visible seats behind Barack Obama’s stage at Joe Louis Arena on Monday because they wore head scarves said they deserve a personal apology from Obama and close-up seats at a future campaign rally.

Hebba Aref, 25, and her friend, Shimaa Abdelfadeel, received apologies from the campaign Tuesday after they complained that they were not allowed to sit near the podium when campaign volunteers learned that they wear the traditional Muslim head garb called a hijab.

Aref said she was especially disappointed because she was attracted to Obama’s message of unity and inclusion. She said she’d like more than an apologetic phone call from a campaign official. “I was kind of in shock that had happened,” said Aref, a Bloomfield Hills resident and graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. “I’ve lived here practically my whole life, and never been treated that way. It’s so s ironic that it was at his rally, he obviously would not promote any discrimination at all.”

Aref said she received a phone call and apology from an Obama campaign offiicial, but said that’s not enough. “I do appreciate they’re taking the time to look into what happened,” Aref said. “I think it’s a huge deal. I was hoping for an apology form Senator. Obama himself. He needs to send a strong message this kind of discrimination won’t be tolerated.”

UPDATE at 6/18/08 2:03:49 pm:

Here comes the Saudi-funded, Hamas-linked radical Islamic front group calling itself the Council on American Islamic Relations, right on cue, trying to capitalize on this: CAIR Urges Obama to Include Muslim Women in Upcoming Events.

Notice: they aren’t really protesting this incident, they’re just trying to get more visibility out of it. Contrast this to their likely reaction if a similar incident had happened at a John McCain rally.

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