President Obama will make the first visit during his presidency to a U.S. mosque next week, the White House announced Saturday, as the administration tries to promote religious tolerance at a time when rhetoric linking Islam with terrorism is becoming more voluminous. On Wednesday the president will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a sprawling community center in the the city’s western suburbs, that serves thousands of people with a place of worship, a housing complex and schools, according to its website.

It is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest Muslim centers and describes itself as aspiring “to be the anchor of a growing Muslim community with diverse backgrounds, democratically governed, relating to one another with inclusiveness and tolerance, and interacting with neighbors in an Islamic exemplary manner.” On Saturday, a White House official said in an e-mail that the president is making the visit: “to celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life. FULL REPORT