The White House held three separate meetings Monday with faith leaders to discuss concerns about rising hostility toward religious minorities, and Muslim leaders pressed for President Obama to do something he hasn't since taking office: Visit a U.S. mosque. Ideally, they said, the visit would be with former president George W. Bush.
The meetings were typical in a way of the ones top White House officials hold all the time to hear people's concerns, but the crunch of three in one day, and a related meeting there Thursday, shows increased concern about recent reports of hate incidents against Muslims, and Sikhs who people confuse with Muslims. Terrorism incidents in Paris and California have led, Muslim leaders say, to a sharp rise in discriminatory incidents.
Among the approximately 10 Muslim leaders who came to the White House on Monday to meet with several top officials was Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, a legal advocacy group. The meeting, she said, was called by the White House. According to a White House official, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes attended.