Obama in 1st Visit to a Mosque Denounce Anti-Islamic Rhetoric

Obama in 1st Visit to a Mosque Denounce Anti-Islamic Rhetoric
Thu Feb 4, 2016 10:00:26

US President Barack Obama has made his first visit to a mosque to denounce the anti-Islam rhetoric promoted by GOPers in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, telling Muslims outside Baltimore that Christians "have to understand: An attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths."

Obama attended Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Windsor Mill, Maryland, where he spoke against "hugely distorted impression" of Muslims in the country.

Anti-Muslim discourse was intensified by the Republican candidates, with billionaire Donald Trump in the vanguard, after terrorist bombings by Takfiri affiliates of Daesh in Paris and San Bernardo, California.

“You’ve seen, too often, people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith,” Obama said tacitly touching on the discourse, calling the rhetoric an “inexcusable” one with “no place” in the country.

“We have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias and targets people because of religion. We’ve got to make sure that hate crimes are punished and that the civil rights of all Americans are upheld.”

The US president, who had taken off his shoes as Muslims do to respect the place of worship, said he was “grateful” for the efforts that the Muslim community has made “to keep us as one American family.”

“First thing, I want to say is two words that Muslim Americans don’t hear often enough and that is: Thank you!”

He added that it was “a time of concern and frankly a time of some fear” for Muslims who have two concerns; threat of terrorism and “on top of that” being blamed “for the violent acts of a very few.”

The terrorists who promote a “perverted” version of Islam “must never” be given “legitimacy.”

Obama noted that “an overwhelming majority of Muslims embrace Islam as a source of peace,” censuring Takfiris such as Daesh (ISIL) and al-Qaeda, who “are not the first extremists in history to misuse God’s name.”

“We’ve seen it before across faiths.”

He referred to the American population’s ignorance in regard to Islam, which they have only understood through watching the “news after an act of terrorism or in distorted media portrayals in TV or film.”

Obama suggested non-Muslim Americans to pay visit to mosques as they are “where families come to worship and express their love for God and for each other.”

The US president also slammed those who “constantly” make divisive accusations against Muslims.

“If you’re ever wondering if you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can as the president of the United States: You fit in here; right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America, too.”

He said the US media should at least portray “some Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security,” a move he described as not a “hard” one.

“None of us can be silent. We can’t be by-standers to bigotry.”

As a result of the erroneous image, Muslim women wearing hijab around the country suffer, Obama said, exemplifying Sabah Mukhtar, a biology student from the University of Maryland, who gave a passionate speech to the audience before the US president appeared on stage.

“Around the country, women wearing the hijab, just like Sabah, have been targeted; we’ve seen children bullied, we’ve seen mosques vandalized.”

Referring to origins of Islam in the US, Obama said the religion is “not a new thing” in the country and Muslims have made great achievements in its history, PRESS TV reports.

While exemplifying Muslim sport heroes in the US, Obama asked Muslim American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad (pictured below) to stand up among the audience.

“By the way when Team USA marches into the next Olympics, one of the Americans waving the Red, White and Blue would be a fencing champion wearing her hijab,” he said, voicing hope she would “bring home the gold.”

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