Obama to visit mosque for first time as president

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President Obama next week will make his first visit to a mosque during his time in office, White House announced Saturday.

He will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday, and will speak with its members about tolerance and religious freedom.

"On Wednesday, February 3rd, the President will travel to Maryland to visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque to celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life," a White House official said in a statement.

"The President will hold a roundtable with community members and deliver remarks, where he will reiterate the importance of staying true to our core values — welcoming our fellow Americans, speaking out against bigotry, rejecting indifference, and protecting our nation's tradition of religious freedom."

The visit appears to be part of the president's efforts to push back against what he sees as inflammatory rhetoric about Muslims coming from Republican presidential candidates — most notably Donald Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on allowing Muslims to enter the country.

According to the Washington Post, the mosque is the same one that was attended by Adnan Syed, a Muslim-American man convicted of murder who gained national attention as the subject of the first season of the popular podcast "Serial."