Obama Calls for Religious Tolerance in Mosque Visit

President Obama made his first presidential visit to a mosque on Wednesday morning, sitting down for a roundtable with Muslim leaders before giving a nationally televised speech touching upon themes of tolerance and religious harmony. In his remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Obama decried “inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans” and lamented how, “like all Americans, you’re worried about the threat of terrorism; but on top of that... you also have another concern: that your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few.”

The president relayed messages he’s received from Muslim Americans worrying about how they will be treated because of their religion. “I’ve had mothers write and say, ‘My heart cries every night thinking about how my daughter might be treated at school,’ a girl from Ohio, 13 years old, told me ‘I’m scared,’ a girl from Texas signed her letter, ‘A confused 14-year-old trying to find her place in the world.’ These are children just like mine, and the notion that they would be filled with doubt and questioning their place— that’s not who we are. We’re one American family.”