President Obama won’t be visiting the Golden Temple during his upcoming trip to India, turns out.
What is the Golden Temple? No, it’s not Chinese takeout. It’s the holiest site in Sikhism.
But if he went there, he’d have to put on some kind of headdress that would make him look to Americans like he was all gotten up in Muslim gear. And, oh boy, what a PR pain in the ass.
The White House of course says this had nothing to do with it. According to Deputy National Security Adviser Benjamin Rhodes:
I think if you look at — the schedule that we ended up is the schedule that best advances the purposes and interests of the trip. We’ve got a very packed three days in Mumbai and Delhi that speak to those priorities, that reach out to the Indian people as well.
So we arrived at the schedule we arrived at because we thought it was the best way to have a successful trip. We’ve visited multiple religious sites — mosques, churches, synagogues — on foreign travel. We’ll do so on this trip, probably in Indonesia. So I think that the decision we made was driven by, again, the interests of time, how to best advance our common interests with India in these three days. And, unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to get to get to every place we advanced.
Well, don’t believe it. The White House “advanced” the temple, meaning people went out there to have a look-see and prepare for a presidential visit. I mean, even if the above is the truth, ain’t no way he was gonna go and put another feather in the cap of those who say he’s reciting the Koran late at night in the Lincoln Bedroom.
Here’s a good rundown from a few days ago of the Golden Temple situation by the website newsy.com.