White House seeks to reassure US Muslims and Sikhs

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is reaching out to American Sikhs and Muslims who fear popular backlash over the deadly Islamist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris.

On a conference call Monday with religious leaders, top White House officials pledged vigilance by the Justice Department in pursuing hate crimes and other civil rights violations, calling an attack on any faith an attack on all faiths.

Obama's aides also were holding separate meetings at the White House with Muslim leaders and with Sikh leaders.

The president appeared at the Pentagon Monday to explain his strategy for stopping the Islamic State group abroad and its sympathizers at home.

But Obama believes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his remarks about Muslims also put America at risk.

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