A photo has been released of U.S Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) in traditional Muslim attire has been circulated around the Internet this Monday, making its debut on the popular Internet site the Drudge report.
The photo in question is said to have been taken in 2006, when Obama paid a visit to the heavily Muslim African Nation of Kenya, where Obama’s late father had roots.
The Obama campaign deems the photograph “shameful fear mongering”.
Since making its first appearance on the Drudge report, the photo and allegations have been disseminated greatly by the news and blogers. On the Drudge report and in subsequent reports, the disclosure of the photo to “Clinton staffers”. However the campaign of Obama’s opponent for the Democratic Presidential nomination Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), denies the claims. After issuing a ” what you think being shown wearing traditional Muslim garb on a visit overseas is offensive” type of line, Clinton Campaign manager Maggie Williams states that such talk is a distraction from the broader campaign issues.
“This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.”
Clinton campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfsen has also denied such allegations.
Since his campaign began there has been a slew of Internet rumors (including the constant invocation by critics and conservatives of his middle name Hussein), that Obama is a Muslim, despite that Obama is of the Christian faith. The Obama camp has denounced such rumors, whispers that appear to be used to create fears about Obama, with venomous undertones of anti-Muslim xenophobic undertones.
MY TAKE: If Clinton’s staff did this it would demonstrate recklessness and stupidity. Her image in the Democratic Party and in the broader electorate as well as that of her husband would be forever tarnished if such attacks were attributed to her.
Clinton supporters while supporting her, also don’t hate Barack Obama. They have a general favorable opinion of him. Not to mention it would lay the foundation for Republican and conservative “swift Boat” style attacks against Obama and other Democrats in the lead up to the general Election in November.
Most likely this photo was distributed by some ethnocentric interest group or figure, or unseemly political figure. A group that subscribes to the tactic of confusion, that by repetition a distortion often enough it will morph into truth. The idea of using a label or ethnicity, religion, race, gender, or background that the electorate isn’t well-known, that of the majority, or that is immensely unpopular with the voters and paint them as a member or sympathizer of the views of that race, ethnicity, or religion. Its called prejudice and its called lying.