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Obama Campaign Apologizes for Blocking Muslims at Event

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A young Muslim woman says she and another woman were refused seats directly behind presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, and in front of TV cameras, at a Detroit rally because they wear head scarves. (Video by the Associated Press)

By Shailagh Murray
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign apologized after a report surfaced that campaign volunteers in Detroit had shooed two Muslim women wearing headscarves out of camera range at a rally earlier this week.

According to the website Politico, the women were told they could not sit behind the podium where Obama was speaking, to prevent them from appearing in photographs and television footage with the candidate. Obama has battled false allegations that he is a Muslim, and the two women, both Obama supporters, told Politico they were deeply disillusioned by the incident.

Campaign spokesman Bill Burton issued an apologetic statement. "This is of course not the policy of the campaign," he said. "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."

He also circulated several photographs that prominently feature women in headscarves at previous Obama rallies.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 18, 2008; 4:38 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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