President Obama used the annual White House Iftar dinner Monday to plead for more tolerance toward Muslims. “Here in America, many people personally don’t know someone who is Muslim,” Obama said during the dinner to honor the holy month of Ramadan. “They mostly hear about Muslims in the news — and that can obviously lead to a very distorted impression.”
Obama urged all people to reject “those who seek to divide us by religion or race or sect.”
The president told a story about an Arizona mosque where leaders invited a group of protesters to evening prayers.
“One demonstrator, who accepted the invitation later, described how the experience changed him; how he finally saw the Muslim American community for what it is — peaceful and welcoming,” Obama said. “That’s what can happen when we stop yelling and start listening.”