Muslim leader asks Obama to condemn Islamophobia in prime-time speech

A major Muslim civil rights organization urged President Obama to use his national address Sunday evening to address rising tensions with the Muslim community in the U.S. following attacks in California and Paris, where the attackers are suspected to have had affiliations with the Islamic State.

"As he prepares for his address to the nation this evening, we ask President Obama to include a clear condemnation of the rising anti-Muslim attacks and hysteria we have witnessed in recent weeks, and to state that violence against American Muslims and their institutions will not be tolerated," said Nihad Awad, national director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a statement.

"Hate-filled rhetoric and anti-Muslim attacks are putting the lives of American Muslims and their families in real danger," Awad continued. "We are particularly concerned by an emerging pattern of government officials and employees, as well as other public figures, seeming to endorse or encourage violence against Muslims."

"ISIS knows it cannot defeat our nation militarily, so the terror group's only hope is to divide Americans along religious and ethnic lines. This address provides the opportunity to clearly demonstrate national unity, not division," Awad concluded.