CATONSVILLE, Md:US President Barack Obama on Wednesday slammed what he called “inexcusable” anti-Muslim rhetoric in the political sphere — a veiled jibe at Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump and others.
Making his first visit to a mosque while in office, Obama praised American Muslims as upstanding citizens and thanked them for helping their community.
“Recently we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans that has no place in our country,” Obama told the members of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, without specifically naming anyone.
Trump recently called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.
“The first thing I want to say is two words that Muslim-Americans don’t hear often enough, and that is thank you,” Obama said at the start of his speech, to applause.
“Thank you for serving your community, thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one American family.”
He decried the “hugely distorted impression” of Muslims given in the media — both in film and television portrayals, and in the news after acts of terror.
“Since 9/11, but more recently since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, you have seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith,” he said.