Speed Reads

Bridging the divide

Obama to make his first visit as president to a U.S. mosque

On Wednesday, President Obama will make his first visit to a U.S. mosque during his time in the White House when he meets with Muslim Americans at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. His visit, The New York Times reports, comes as Obama grows frustrated with the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential candidates.

"We have seen an alarming willingness on the part of some Republicans to try to marginalize law-abiding, patriotic Muslim Americans, and it is offensive," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

While Obama has visited mosques in other countries — notably calling for a "new beginning" between the Islamic world and the U.S. during a 2009 visit to Cairo University — Muslim Americans have long pushed for him to visit a mosque on U.S. soil. His visit to the Baltimore mosque Wednesday comes as attacks on Muslim Americans and mosques continue to spike.