Anti-Muslim sentiment surfaces in attacks on Obama

American Muslims are complaining that their faith is being used as a scare tactic in the 2008 US presidential race. Controversy caused by a photograph of Democratic candidate Barack Obama dressed in African garb may be indicative of deeper anti-Muslim sentiments. Even though the photographs of Obama wearing a turban and dressed in tribal garb on a 2006 visit to Kenya, his father’s homeland, the vision strikes up uncomfortable images of Muslim-ness in the presidential hopeful. During Tuesday’s presidential debate, he was also questioned about support from Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan, and is receiving criticisms from his opponent Hillary Clinton, even after denouncing Farrakhan’s endorsement. Obama, a Christian, has fought rumors about his religious allegiance, including uneasiness over _Hussein’ – his middle name. Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Chicago chapter of CAIR said: When it comes to Muslims, the divisive rhetoric coming out of this year’s election ranges from the exclusionary to the just plain bigoted,” he said, adding that neither Obama nor any other candidate had adequately addressed the anti-Muslim climate. Rehab applauds the positive signs of having a black candidate for presidency being taken seriously and having tremendous success, but is saddened about the other evident prejudices – namely, the obsession with religion.