Reaction to Obama’s First Visit to U.S. Mosque

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This week President Obama stepped foot inside a United States mosque for the first time since he was sworn into office. News 25’s Laurene Callander spoke to one proud Muslim-American here on the Coast to get his perspective on this historic event.
President Obama stood shoulder to shoulder with Muslim-Americans on Wednesday and shared his stance against what he calls the current “inexcusable politic rhetoric against Muslim-Americans” that is sweeping the nation. Dawud Salaam, a proud Muslim-American who lives on the Coast, tells News 25 the president’s historic visit represents a much needed change in our country. “Muslims for the most part have been cast as outcasts in society and people for the most part don’t understand us because they never try to get to know us, so President Barack Obama is trying to take the nation on a transitional move,” said Salaam.
It’s a transitional move to not discriminate or blame an entire religion for the acts of terrorism done by Islamic extremists. President Obama said, “As Muslim-Americans, you also have another concern and that is your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of a very few.”
Salaam says his conversion to the Islamic faith  made him a better person and helped him turn the page from what was a life of crime. “Terrorism and Islam, it’s not anything synonymous, regardless how people try to put a spin on it. There are so many Muslims in this country and when we pick up that book and when we read that book, we are not led to go out and kill people, it’s crazy.”
While some ask why it took years for President Obama to visit a mosque here in the U.S., Salaam believes now is more appropriate than ever for our president to step up.