“We’re one American family”, Obama told Muslim-Americans at the Islamic Society of Baltimore.
Speaking to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Obama said many Americans had a “hugely distorted impression” of Muslim-Americans that was resulting in significant harm – both physically and mentally – to the community of almost 3 million people in the U.S.
What do you think about President Barack Obama’s visit to the American mosque?
“So I was not the first”, Obama said to laughter. The White House said she’ll make history at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games as the first United States Olympian to compete in a hijab.
“Let’s have some moral clarity”.
“Groups like ISIL are desperate for legitimacy”, he said. There is a tiny minority, which purposely uses selected religious verses to spread a message of hate but this was not the first time this had been done and Islam is not the first religion exploited this way.
The children led the audience, with some men in prayer caps and most women in head scarves, in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Then the president dispelled the notion that the U.S.is at war with Islam, saying this can’t be true, because Islam is part of the “fabric” of America.
The US president denounced the “extremist elements” who twist Islamic text into violent ideology. “Our television shows should have some Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security because it’s not that hard to do”, he said.
Obama implored Americans of all faiths to play an active role in defending religious freedom and not be “bystanders to bigotry”. “That betrays our values”.
Obama spoke about the contributions Muslims have made to American society.
“When you have a heated political climate, someone at his level needs to step up and say, “This can not go on”, said Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of the Somali Community”.
“We can’t give in to profiling entire groups of people because there is no single profile of a terrorist”.