early and often

Barack Obama’s Muslim Problem Rears Its Head (Scarf) Once Again

Barack Obama Al Gore

Scanning the crowd for head scarves.Photo: Getty Images

Barack Obama just can’t win on the Muslim front. Just after Michelle stealthily inserted “Obama Eats the Bacon” into the public lexicon, thereby quietly contradicting rumors that he’s a secret practitioner of Islam, the Democratic candidate is being painted as anti-Muslim. At his big rally in Detroit with Al Gore on Monday, a young woman with a head scarf was denied a seat behind the Illinois senator (in full camera view) by a campaign volunteer. Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer, was told she couldn’t sit so close because of “a sensitive political climate.” “I was obviously … profiled and discriminated against,” she told the AP. The story came to light yesterday, and by this morning, it was making banner headlines. The Obama campaign sprung into spin mode, apologizing immediately. “It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said a statement issued by spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for this behavior.”

Meanwhile, in New York, the Daily News is trying to make its own Obama head-scarf fiasco, by questioning Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley’s choice to wear a turban at an event where he introduced Michelle Obama in New York on Tuesday. “Perhaps it was wound too tightly,” “Rush & Molloy” suggested. Oooh, snap! Or should we say, that’s a wrap? Man, we could never write for tabloids.

Earlier: Live-blogging Michelle Obama on the ‘View’

Barack Obama’s Muslim Problem Rears Its Head (Scarf) Once Again