January 30, 2016

Obama to make first visit to US mosque

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President Obama speaks to Christian leaders on April 7, 2015 at the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

President Obama speaks to Christian leaders on April 7, 2015 at the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) President Barack Obama will make his first visit as president to a U.S. mosque next week in a defense of religious freedom, the White House said, following a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric in the United States.

On Wednesday (Feb 3), Obama will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque, where he will hold a roundtable with the community and deliver remarks, a White House official said on Saturday.

At the mosque, the president will “reiterate the importance of staying true to our core values — welcoming our fellow Americans, speaking out against bigotry, rejecting indifference, and protecting our nation’s tradition of religious freedom,” the official said.

He has visited mosques outside the United States on his trips abroad.

Obama, a Democrat in his last year as president, has appealed to Americans to reject anti-Muslim comments by politicians, most notably Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Trump, who is leading the Republican field in opinion polls, called for a ban on Muslim visitors to the United States after a Muslim couple inspired by Islamist militants killed 14 people in a shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in early December.

According to a Gallup poll in December, Americans are now more likely to name terrorism as the top issue facing the United States than any other issue.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Idrees Ali)

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  • Diogenes

    No harm, no foul. I’m more surprised he took so long. While I disagree theologically with Islam, its followers are citizens and residents of this nation as well.

  • Cue the legions of sanctimonious Rightists who will now declare they were right to have called Obama a “secret Muslim.” Cue folks like Sarah Palin who will accuse him of “palling around with terrorists.” Gosh, it’s going to be fun, isn’t it? 😉

  • samuel johnston

    I wish I could be more optimistic. Yes we are a nation of immigrants, but for the most part the pioneers wanted to leave the old medieval world behind. Hereditary nobility, the state Church, and debtor’s prison, were all left in Europe. In America, the land grants of European princes were first ignored, and then the land was distributed, by law, to the new settlers – provided they could occupy it. German, Italian, French, Chinese, and a hundred lesser languages were abandoned, in favor of English.
    Obama, or any president, should welcome any group that wishes to join the party, but no group that wishes to establish an alternative culture should be encouraged.
    Buddhism has become quite respectable here – but in an Americanized version. Islam similarly, must adapt, or it will not survive. It can start by endorsing our Constitution. If iur president delivers this message, I will be very surprised, but very gratified.

  • opheliart

    PsiCop,

    where all americans should be aware …

    is this visit going to stir up violence should it be the ‘wrong’ mosque? what if the more extreme and devout of one sect or another of islam is insulted/offended by the visit to the mosque in baltimore? what I see from where I am … it has less to do with the palins of the US and more to do with a growing religious of caliphate operations within the states.

  • Sharif Munshi

    Well said. As a muslim i appreciate ur response.

  • Looks like my prediction is coming true! Herman Cain announced that Obama’s mosque visit betrays his allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood: http://www.rawstory.com/2016/01/herman-cain-obama-visits-mosques-because-he-wants-to-go-kissy-kissy-with-the-muslim-brotherhood/

    I have to give the Right credit for being consistent in their sanctimonious outrage over everything Obama does and consistent in their accusations against him.

  • No mention of the fact that this particular mosque is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terrorist funding trial?

    One would have thought that little tidbit might be germane to the story.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/30/the-us-mosque-obama-has-chosen-for-his-first-presidential-visit-has-deep-extremist-ties/

  • Nick

    King of Google search right here: That’s the first article that pops up when you put in “Obama, mosque visit, terrorism.” Do a little more research before you decide to post the first article you halfway read lol

  • Martin

    since he is a Muslim I can’t see anything wrong with it

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