Rally volunteers were concerned that the Muslim women wearing their traditional headscarves would appear on camera with Obama, thus giving Obama’s opponents the opportunity to suggest that Obama is pro-Islam and, therefore, pro-terrorist. Yet this was not just an “unfortunate” experience for Aref and Shimaa Abdelfadeel, the two women involved in the incident; rather, it is a bold reflection of a deep-rooted fear about the Muslim identity in the United States, which has become a matter of security, a fear which harms many Muslims everyday.
The fear expressed by the volunteers is a general reflection of what the Bush administration, mainstream media, Hollywood, and, recently, a part of blogsphere have done to portray Islam and Muslims as a security threat rather than a historical culture with its own identity.
By asking the Abedelfadeels to remove their scarves before being seated, the volunteers bluntly showed the penetration of this fear into the campaign. Any connection to Islam, is automatically perceived as a negative factor for Obama campaign.