“I want every Muslim American who may be wondering where they fit in to know that you’re right where you belong – right here, because you’re part of America, too. You are not Muslim or American. You are Muslim AND American.” —President Obama
American President Barack Obama Says: Today, I had the privilege of visiting the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a mosque that serves thousands of Muslim American families. Like houses of worship across our country, it’s a place where neighbors come together to pray, a school where students learn, and a health clinic where volunteers serve their community. My visit was a chance to celebrate the contributions that Muslim Americans make to our country every day and to reaffirm the founding ideals that keep our nation strong, including the freedom of religion.
Generations of Muslim Americans have helped build our country as farmers, merchants and workers on Henry Ford’s assembly line. They’re the teachers who inspire our kids, and the nurses and doctors whom we trust with our health. They’re scientists who win Nobel Prizes and young entrepreneurs creating new technologies. They’re the champions we cheer for – from Muhammad Ali to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They’re the police and firefighters who keep us safe, and the men and women in uniform who have fought and bled and died for our freedom.
Right now, though, many Muslim Americans are worried because threats and harassment against their community, their families and their children are on the rise. But we are one American family, and an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths. When any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. At a time when others are trying to divide us along religious lines, we have to reaffirm that most fundamental truth – that we are all God’s children, all born equal with inherent dignity.
I want every Muslim American who may be wondering where they fit in to know that you’re right where you belong – right here, because you’re part of America, too. You are not Muslim or American. You are Muslim AND American. I want every American to know that Muslim communities are standing up for peace and justice as well. That’s the spirit I felt on my visit today. And I’m absolutely confident that if we stay true to the values and ideals that bind us as one people, we’re going to remain strong and united.