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Obama to Visit Mosque in Baltimore

FILE - A sign outside the Islamic Society of Baltimore's Al-Rahmah School.
FILE - A sign outside the Islamic Society of Baltimore's Al-Rahmah School.

President Barack Obama will visit a U.S. mosque for the first time during his presidency on Wednesday.

The White House said Saturday that the president's visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore would "celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life."

Obama plans to meet with community members and then deliver remarks in which he "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.

Following the deadly attacks late last year in Paris and in San Bernardino, California, both linked to radical Muslims, Obama called on Muslim Americans to help fight extremism.

The president has also appealed to Americans to reject anti-Muslim comments by politicians, most notably Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States after a Muslim couple inspired by Islamist militants killed 14 people in a shooting in San Bernardino in early December.

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