-—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—-
NEW YORK, NY (February 3, 2016) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) welcomes President Barack Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore today. President Obama’s visit marks the first time he is visiting an American mosque since he became President in 2009.
President Obama said he was seeking to rebut “inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans” from Republican presidential candidates.
In this era of heightened rhetoric during the Presidential election season, along with the rise of anti-Islamic propaganda, it is important for our elected officials to stand with the Muslim community to show solidarity with the more than 6 million Muslim Americans. Our nation was founded on religious tolerance and common ethos which requires us to stand together as Americans.
ICNA also applauds the president’s acknowledgement of Islam as a part of America’s fabric since colonial times. He mentioned how America’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, each had copies of the Qu’ran — Islam’s holy book.
“When enshrining Freedom of Religion in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, our founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions,” Obama said.
In rebuke to politicians like Donald Trump, Obama presented Islam as an essential part of the nation’s heritage, going back to Muslim slaves brought to the British colonies and running through Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom up to Fazlur Rahman Khan, who designed two of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers.
The food and toiletries ICNA Relief plans to distribute to the homeless Monday in Downtown Atlanta represent the service organization’s recognition...