On Wednesday, President Barack Obama is scheduled to stop by the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Catonsville. It will be the first time he’s made an official visit to a mosque since he became president.
The president will use the mosque visit as an opportunity to speak about religious freedom, the White House said. Unsurprisingly — but depressingly — the planned mosque visit has already spurred plenty of chatter, controversy, and racist memes.
“The president believes that one of our nation’s greatest strengths is our rich diversity,” White House spokesman Keith Maley said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “As the president has said, Muslim Americans are our friends, and neighbors; our co-workers, and sports heroes — and our men and women in uniform defending our country.”
It will be a religiously-themed week for the president: Over the next few days, he’s also scheduled to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast and at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at the Israeli embassy.
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