No decision yet on Obama Golden Temple visit: White House

October 20, 2010

Hold onto your, er, hats.

Talk that U.S. President Barack Obama has canceled a visit to The Golden Temple in Amritsar because of a dispute over headgear may be premature, the White House said on Wednesday.temple

“We pick sites on foreign trips based on what the president wants to accomplish,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters traveling on Air Force One. Not, presumably, the outfit he might have to wear at a given site.

Obama had been expected to visit the Golden Temple in northern India, a pilgrimage site for Sikhs, during his tour of the country next month. But Indian media reports said Obama’s handlers balked at the idea of the U.S. president wearing a headscarf or skullcap while touring the site.

Obama faces persistent talk among some members of the U.S. public that he is a Muslim and, the reports said, aides said pictures of him wearing such headgear could fuel such rumors.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Sikh.

Gibbs said Obama’s final itinerary during his India trip had yet to be finalized, but he expected it would be in the course of the next week.

“It’s a big country and we’d love to spend a lot more than the three allotted days we have in India,” Gibbs said.

PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/Munish Sharma (Sikh devotees carry  during a religious procession inside the premises of the Golden Temple in Amritsar )

2 comments

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Obama will cost dmocrates the election because he is a coward.

Why not Teachable Moment the Americans that Sikhs are not Muslims, whle Christains and Jews are more similar to muslims.

Obama will hurt alliance with India by insulting the Sikh Leader of India the Prime Minister is a Sikh and not going will cost America dearly!

Mulims are all laughing at hou stupid USa is cant tell the difference between 2 great religions

Posted by Karen99 | Report as abusive

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Being an Indian let me tell the American public one thing, it does not matter if he does not visit the temple, he can just skip the whole visit itself, visiting, looking into the structure makes no special impact on the relationship, chill, its perfectly okay, the president will not be mistaken or misunderstood, democrats or his citizens need not judge him on this, it has nothing to do with ‘looks like a Malaysian songkok’ the president lived in Indonesia, which was predominatly Muslim, it is obvious he is secular in all aspects.

Posted by pereiraarvindin | Report as abusive