Washington: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday slammed anti-Muslim rhetoric and appealed for tolerance for millions of Muslims in the country during his first visit to an American mosque as president. "We have heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans that has no place anywhere in our country," said Obama in an address at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Maryland.
"You have seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith," he said, adding that the anti-Muslim rhetoric started since 9/11 attacks but more recently since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. "We have seen children bullied, we have seen mosques vandalised," said Obama. "That's not who we are." Though Obama did not specifically name anyone who, in his words, resorted to "inexcusable" anti-Muslim rhetoric in the political sphere, White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday took a clear jab at some Republicans who he said with "an alarming willingness" tried to "marginalise law-abiding, patriotic Muslim Americans." "It is just offensive to a lot of Americans who recognise that those kinds of cynical political tactics run directly contrary to the values ... in this country," Earnest said at Tuesday's briefing.