President Barack Obama will not be visiting the Golden Temple - the architectural pride of the Sikh faith - during his trip to India next month, according to the New York Times:
Revered by Indians of all faiths, it is a cherished emblem of India’s religious diversity. So it was no surprise when the gold-plated marvel was promoted as the likely third stop on President Obama’s visit to India, scheduled for early November.
But the United States has ruled out a Golden Temple visit, according to an American official involved in planning. Temple officials said that American advance teams had gone to Amritsar, the holy city that is the site of the temple, to discuss a possible visit. But the plan appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires, while visiting the temple....
Mr. Obama, a Christian, has struggled to fend off persistent rumors that he is a Muslim, and Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.
Here's what a senior White House official tells CNN about the situation:
As you know, we have not yet released the final schedule for the President’s trip to Asia, including India. India is a vast and extraordinary country, and there are many more events that the President would like to do – and sites that our advance teams visit – than he will have time for during a three day visit. We will advise the President’s itinerary when it is finalized.
More as we get it. Full Times report here.