On Feb. 4, 2015, President Obama met with 15 Muslim American leaders at the White House. Discussions focused on countering violent extremism, protecting civil liberties, and other issues. The meeting was closed to the press. One participant, Hoda Elshishtawy from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, told reporters that she urged Obama to appoint more Muslims to government positions. Dean Obeidallah, an Arab-American comedian and writer for the Daily Beast, brought up the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry among some politicians.

The following is the White House statement summarizing the discussion.

Readout of the President’s Meeting with American Muslim Leaders

The President this afternoon met with American Muslim leaders to discuss a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.  The President thanked the participants for their work in a variety of fields and for coming together to offer views on issues of importance to their communities, noting that his regular interactions with different faith communities provided him with valuable insights and feedback.  Among the topics of discussion were the community’s efforts and partnerships with the Administration on a range of domestic issues such as the Affordable Care Act, issues of anti-Muslim violence and discrimination, the 21st Century Policing Task Force, and the upcoming White House Summit on Countering Violence Extremism.  The President reiterated his Administration's commitment to safeguarding civil rights through hate crimes prosecutions and civil enforcement actions.  The President discussed the need to continue countering ISIL and other groups that commit horrific acts of violence, purportedly in the name of Islam.  Noting the remarkable contributions of Muslim Americans to our country, the President also encouraged the participants to remain civically engaged in their communities, and told them that he looked forward to seeking additional opportunities to continue the discussion of these and other issues.