Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Georgetown University as faith leaders from around the D.C. area gathered there to advocate for peace and religious freedom.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, and Talib Shareef, imam and president of Masjid Muhammad, known as "The Nation's Mosque," were scheduled to attend Wednesday's summit, as were many other leaders, to discuss their shared "commitment to peace, justice and religious freedom."
Georgetown President DiGioia opened the gathering by urging tolerance and understanding.
Of the diversity present at the summit, Biden commented, "This is America."
The interfaith event was held in the wake of the fatal shootings in San Bernardino, California, by a married couple who sympathized with the Islamic State militant group. The shootings have led to criticism of Islam, including a call by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to bar Muslims from entering the United States.
The event also included music and prayer.