Brit writer terms 'Obama Golden Temple visit' cancellation accusations "nonsense"

Source : ANI
Last Updated: Sat, Nov 06, 2010 06:20 hrs

British writer and TV presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli has turned down the "nonsense" accusations that US President Barack Obama has axed his visit to Golden Temple during his India visit fearing that his opponents might portray him as "un-American," saying that "India's a massive country - he just doesn't have time to visit everyone."

"India's a massive country - he just doesn't have time to visit everyone. There are more Christians there than Sikhs anyway, so maybe he should visit a church? "It's a piece of nonsense - is he going to go to a synagogue as well?" Sky News quoted Kohli, as saying.

According to sources, Obama aides axed the trip over concerns that images of him in headgear, surrounded by men in turbans, would fuel claims he is a closet Muslim.

White House officials have however reportedly denied it was the reason for the cancellation, but this has failed to appease Sikh groups both in the US and India, the report said.

"I deeply regret President Obama missed the opportunity to send a powerful message of global peace and harmony in the South Asian region and in the world," Rajwant Singh, chairman of the US-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education said.

Meanwhile, Gurubachan Singh, from the Golden Temple management trust, has said that everyone coming to Guruduara is expected to cover his or her head, and added: Obama is welcome inside the temple. He could just wear a cap."

Obama, a Christian whose middle name is Hussein, continues to face accusations from US right-wingers that he is actually a closet radical Muslim.

During his presidency campaign, the influential New Yorker magazine portrayed him in Islamic dress beside a burning US flag. In August, while a Time magazine poll found 24 percent of Americans thought he was a Muslim.

He would reach India on Saturday, the first stop on a tour through India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. (ANI)

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