On Sunday, President Obama issued a statement of peace and love as Muslims embarked on the holy month of Ramadan. In the statement, the president reaffirmed his support for Muslim Americans "in rejection of the voices that seek to divide us or limit our religious freedoms or civil rights."
"I stand committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans no matter their religion or appearance," Obama said. "I stand in celebration of our common humanity and dedication to peace and justice for all."
The president's positive message about Islam comes at a time when some politicians are quick to blame all Muslims for terrorism.
The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, hasn't been shy with anti-Muslim rhetoric. In 2015, Trump famously called for the "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" after the San Bernardino terror attack.
Trump was hardly the only politician this year who made Islamophobic comments during his presidential campaign. Sen. Ted Cruz said that law enforcement officials should patrol "Muslim neighborhoods" during a presidential campaign event in March. And other presidential candidates, including Ben Carson and Gov. Mike Huckabee, also issued statements that could easily be construed as anti-Muslim.
The increase in Islamophobic statements from some American politicians had significant consequences. Hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques tripled in the rhetoric-heavy weeks following the San Bernardino and Paris attacks. The anti-Muslim sentiment also persuaded 26 governors to prohibit Syrian refugees from resettling in their states.
In stark contrast, Obama used his Ramadan address to tell Muslims in the country and around the world that the United States's welcome of future immigrants and refugees will not be dependent on their religions.