In his first visit to a U.S. mosque, President Obama thanked American Muslims for their contributions to the nation, promised they will be treated with sensitivity in counterterrorism probes and said Islam is not to blame for terrorist attacks.
“I want to say two words Muslim Americans don’t hear often enough: Thank you,” Mr. Obama said at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. “We are one American family.”
Saying anti-Muslim rhetoric from Republican presidential candidates will discourage Muslims from cooperating with law enforcement, Mr. Obama offered a blanket pledge that the FBI and other agencies will treat American Muslims with respect in terrorism investigations.
“I want you to know that from the president to the FBI director to everybody in law enforcement, my directive, and their understanding, is that this is something we have to do together,” Mr. Obama said. “Engagement with Muslim-American communities must never be a cover for surveillance. We can’t give in to profiling entire groups of people. There’s no one single profile of terrorists.”
The president criticized Republican presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, without mentioning them by name, for proposing to restrict Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. from the Middle East.