Muslim leaders want Obama, George Bush to visit a mosque to fight discrimination

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Source: The Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein

The Post’s religion reporter, where she reports on the busy marketplace of American religion.

Vandals spray-painted crosses on the windows at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque in Hawthorne, Calif., on Dec. 13. The FBI is investigating after police in Hawthorne say two mosques in that city were vandalized with paint, and a fake grenade was left in the driveway of one of the properties. (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community muslimsforpeace.org via AP)
The White House held three separate meetings Monday with faith leaders to discuss concerns about rising hostility toward religious minorities, and Muslim leaders pressed for President Obama to do something he hasn’t since taking office: Visit a U.S. mosque. Ideally, they said, the visit would be with former president George W. Bush.

The meetings were typical in a way of the ones top White House officials hold all the time to hear people’s concerns, but the crunch of three in one day, and a related meeting there Thursday, shows increased concern about recent reports of hate incidents against Muslims, and Sikhs who people confuse with Muslims. Terrorism incidents in Paris and California have led, Muslim leaders say, to a sharp rise in discriminatory incidents.

Among the approximately 10 Muslim leaders who came to the White House on Monday to meet with several top officials was Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, a legal advocacy group. The meeting, she said, was called by the White House. According to a White House official, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes attended.

Khera said she pressed the White House to consider something Muslim Americans leaders have requested over the years: A visit to a mosque.

“I think it would be enormously comforting and also send powerful message to Americans about recommitting to religious freedom — especially if we had Bush and Obama visit together,” she said. She said her group hadn’t raised the question with Bush, who visited a mosque six days after the Sept. 11 attacks and said “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.”

Separately,Jarrett didn’t rule out the idea of Obama visiting a mosque, but declined to say whether it would happen.

“We are looking for opportunities for helping to defuse a lot of discriminatory and bigoted rhetoric that could cause harm,” she said. “We are looking for ways to signal the importance of the fundamental belief of freedom of religion embodied in the Constitution.”

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3 replies

  1. ===Muslim leaders pressed for President Obama to do something he hasn’t since taking office: Visit a U.S. mosque. Ideally, they said, the visit would be with former president George W. Bush.==

    This is very smart action, Muslim really need action not only “Dakwa’ in Mosque ”

    But I strongly urge American Muslim Leaders to speak up loudly and demand Muslim countries to denounce any kind of discrimination against non Muslim.American Muslims should be a role of model to fight against discrimination and unjustice in some Islamic countries-

    Was salam
    With love as ever

  2. It makes no difference whether or not Obama visits any mosque. He will forever excuse every muslim atrocity while condemning the victims for offering themselves to be killed. That was what he did after the Paris attacks of early 2015 when the perpetrators said they targeted the shop because it was Jewish but Obama claimed it had nothing to do with religion. The shootings were random and the victims happened to be where they should not have been.
    American muslims are in full support of every type of discrimination because they are embedded in the quran and hadiths. If they practice it in America, how can they condemn the same thing when done elsewhere?

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