On Wednesday, President Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Maryland. It was the first time in his presidency he visited a US mosque.
The president delivered an impassioned speech urging Americans to exhibit tolerance toward Muslims at a time when Islamophobia has a very real impact in American communities.
His visit to the mosque was long overdue, given Obama is in his final year in office, but it was also very timely for unfortunate reasons.
Religious tolerance is one of the founding principles of the US, and it's important for our leaders to reiterate that, particularly when tolerance is threatened.
Here are nine of the most powerful quotes from the president's speech, all of which remind us it's possible for people of multiple faiths and backgrounds to live together in peace.
1. President Obama acknowledged many Muslims don't feel safe right now and explained why that's not OK.
2. Since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, hate crimes against Muslims tripled, and the president urged Americans to take a stand against this.
3. He reminded us all how important it is all faiths are respected.
4. The president highlighted the vital roles Muslim Americans play in our communities.
5. There are over 5,000 Muslim Americans in the US military, and President Obama made it clear he appreciates their service.
6. He explained why it's wrong to blame all of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims for terrorism.
7. He offered an important quote from the Quran.
8. He let young Muslims know they belong in this country just as much as anyone else.
9. And finally, the president aptly noted we're all on the same team.
Citations: Crimes Against Muslim Americans and Mosques Rise Sharply (The New York Times), More than 5,000 Muslims Serving in US Military, Pentagon Says (ABC News)