President Barack Obama will visit a mosque in Baltimore County on Wednesday amid growing concern about hostility directed toward Muslim Americans. It will be Obama’s first visit to an American mosque as president.
Obama will deliver remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, located in Catonsville, and will meet with community members there to discuss religious freedom, White House officials said Saturday.
The visit is a symbolic gesture for Obama, who toured the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta in 2010, but who has not entered an American mosque during his seven years as president.
Administration officials hope the visit will send a message at a time when Muslim leaders are increasingly anxious about reactions following the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. Several crimes directed at Muslims have received national attention since the attacks.