The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has sharply criticized a magazine cover illustration showing the Illinois senator dressed in traditional Muslim attire and his wife in combat boots with an assault rifle.

The illustration on the cover of The New Yorker shows the couple tapping their fists together in the White House as an American flag burns in the fireplace. A picture of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden hangs over the mantel.

A spokesman for Obama's campaign quoted a New Yorker staffer as saying the cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature that Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create.

But the spokesman said most readers will see the illustration as "tasteless and offensive." The campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain said it agreed with that opinion.

Obama's middle name Hussein comes from his father, who was from Kenya. The Obama campaign frequently points out that he is a Christian to refute rumors that he is Muslim.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.