SHAFAQNA – The White House said he will “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”
Obama plans to hold talks with Muslim leaders at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, the White House announced on Saturday. The visit will amount to a public embrace of Muslims by Obama.
Obama has largely put distance between himself and US Muslims, opting against fueling the rampant theories that he is a closet Muslim who was born in Kenya, the country of his late father’s birth. Obama is American by virtue of his birth in Hawaii and has released his birth certificate as proof. He also is Christian. But segments of the US population still believe neither to be true.
As such, the visit will come during the final year of Obama’s two terms in office. The White House said he will go to the Baltimore mosque to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”
In remarks to be delivered at the mosque, Obama “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 White House said.
Obama has been outspoken in pushing back against calls by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and others to block Muslims from being admitted to the US.
It was not immediately clear why the White House chose the Islamic Society of Baltimore for the visit.