[Marxism] Two Muslim women face discrimination at Obama meeting : Obama running scared from "unity and inclusion"?

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu Jun 19 09:29:22 MDT 2008

Personally, as a political calculator, I think Obama is beginning to run way
too scared away from "unity and inclusion." I notice now that Michelle Obama
is now busy dispelling claims that at some time in her life she took the
name of the white man in vain. I think this campaign will win a lot more
white workers and youth who are not pre-committed to the right and McCain by
talking about what can be taken as common interests and concerns of working
people (as in the proposals, and less about Rev. Wright, absent Black
fathers, Black youth who use cuss words, and other staples of the moralistic
and often anti-Black litany.

Another thing: He doesn't have to do a thing to win the Jewish vote. He has
it sewed up. My read is that a very significant  majority of Jews in this
country are relieved that the Israeli regime talked to Hamas, hope the
Israeli state keeps its side of the bargain, would be in favor of Washington
talking to Hamas and Iran, and are not committed to an "undivided
Jerusalem," the settlements, Solomonic Israel, or whatever. AIPAC is much
more about representing the Israeli state in  aligning with ruling class
sectors committed to Israel's cop and terrorist role against the Arabs and
Iranians, and about winning right-wing Christian Zionists  and their
congregations, than it is about the Jewish vote.

I guess the current course means that we won't be seeing the fearsome "fist
bump of terror" between the Obamas again.

This course feeds red meat to the racist campaign that is continuing.  The
McCain's people can fill the campaign with things that Obama must reject
repudiate, cease and desist from, retract, deny, etc., and they will do so.
Obama's campaign will then be presented as a desperate -- and ultimately
losing -- struggle to win "blue collar" America on a white racial patriotic
basis by proving he is not pro-Black, pro-Muslim, pro-immigrant,
pro-Michelle or whatever will be demanded next.

This won't change what is new about this campaign which is the
disintegration of the Southern Strategy/triangulation course of the two
party system over the last decades, aimed at rallying whites on a
racial/"patriotic" basis, but it can shore up the crumbling ramparts a bit. 
In reality many more white workers and youth are moving further away from
racism and "white patriotic" politics and towards a position actually to the
left of the Democratic Party.

Yes, I do see a future for independent labor, Black, Latino, women's
politics in this situation, including but not centered in the electoral

Anyone who wants to can call this Kautskyite Browderism if they wish to show
off their memory for obscure terminology, and I can reply by labeling the
opposed view as Robertsonite Menshevism. Oops, forgot! "Menshevism" is
verboten!! This will advance political wisdom by oodles.
Fred Feldman

Muslim woman demands an apology from Obama after camera snub
Head scarves led to decision; Democrat's campaign apologizes
By CHRIS CHRISTOFF . Free Press Staff Writer . June 18, 2008

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
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 from Sen. Obama
himself. He needs to send a strong message this kind of discrimination won't
be tolerated."

Campaign spokesman Bill Burton told Politico.com that the campaign does not
have a policy that bars Muslims wearing head scarves away from Obama. The
campaign sent the Free Press photographs of Obama at previous campaign
events with supporters wearing head scarves near him.

"It is offensive and counter to Obama's commitment to bring Americans
together and simply not the kind of campaign we run," Burton was quoted as
saying. "We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers."

Aref said a group of her friends and friends of Abdelfadeel were approached
separately by two different campaign volunteers at Joe Louis Arena. In each
case, she said, the friends were told Aref and Abdelfadeel would not be
allowed near the stage because of their head scarves.

Aref said one aide told her friends that because of a sensitive political
environment, Obama should not be photographed with Muslims wearing head

Aref's aunt, Dr. Eman Salem, a Bloomfield Hills anesthesiologist, said she
was outraged when she learned of what had happened to her niece at the

"This is an insult to all Muslims," said Salem, 50, a Canadian citizen who
said she's worked in the U.S. for five years. "I wouldn't take my hijab off
for anyone. It doesn't prevent Muslims from accomplishing anything. We take
pride in our religion and we take pride in our citizenship."

Salem said her family has supported Obama. Salem said she attended his
recent visit to Troy High School.

Contact NIRAJ WARIKOO at warikoo at freepress.com.


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