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Obama makes first trip to US mosque

Updated: December 7, 2019 Published: 2016-02-03

( - President Barack Obama is due to visit a mosque in the United States for the first time since taking on the role.

He speaks in the mosque Islamic Society of Baltimore, Maryland, on Thursday morning.
He has visited mosques elsewhere in official trips abroad during his seven years as president.
The White House said the visit was intended as a defense of religious freedom and a statement against intolerance.
"The tradition of religious freedom"
The president would "reiterate the importance of staying true to our core values ​​- welcome to our American colleagues, speaking out against intolerance, rejection of indifference, and protection of our nation's tradition of religious freedom" a White House official quoted by Reuters as saying.
advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it has followed an increasing number of attacks on mosques and Muslim individuals from Paris attacks in November 2015, and a shooting in San Bernardino, California, in December.
A report by the group warned that "the levels of anti-Muslim sentiment are trends in US domestic politics," noting the call of the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in December for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US ..
Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR said: "I do not think there was this level of fear and apprehension in the Muslim-American community.
"For some time we have been asking setback. Perhaps this will start a trend."
Obama is in his last year as president. A week ago, he became the first sitting president to speak at the Israeli Embassy, ​​where he warned of rising anti-Semitism.
Akbar Ahmed, a specialist in Islamic studies at American University, said Obama had made "literally to the last" to visit a mosque in the United States, but said: "Better late than never.
In 2010, the White House blamed "misinformation campaign" for a growing conviction that Obama was a Muslim. Throughout his presidency, some people have said it is a Muslim pretending to be a Christian.

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