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Buttigieg pens letter to Muslims in city: 'The diversity of our community is its strength'

Buttigieg pens letter to Muslims in city: 'The diversity of our community is its strength'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg shared an open letter on Friday expressing support for Muslims in his hometown after deadly mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand raised fears among U.S. Muslims.

Buttigieg, who is the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and who launched a presidential exploratory committee in January, penned the letter to his city’s Muslim residents after the overseas attack left 49 worshipers dead and dozens others injured.

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“As you gather this evening, I write to tell you that this City is absolutely committed to your safety and well-being. I want you to know that this entire City has its arms around you, in love and peace, and that we support you as you practice your faith here in this community, our community, this home we share,” Buttigieg wrote in the letter posted to Twitter on Friday evening as Muslims gathered for weekly prayer.

“The diversity of our community is its strength, and the members of the Islamic community have greatly enriched this City, in your worship, in your service, even by the diversity of nationalities among your number. We would be poorer without you.”

Friday's attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, sparked international calls against Islamophobia and white supremacism after it was revealed a suspect, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, wrote a manifesto expressed admiration for a series of white supremacist figures, including Dylan Roof, who killed nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

Buttigieg has not formally announced a White House campaign, but has sought to raise his profile as he seeks to take on other national Democratic figures in a crowded primary field that features Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Biden campaign promises will struggle if Republicans win back Congress Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers McConnell sidesteps Cheney-Trump drama MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Nearly half of women say they're more stressed amid pandemic: survey Alabama museum unveils restored Greyhound bus for Freedom Rides' 60th anniversary MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers Schumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory BookerNever underestimate Joe Biden Police reform talks ramp up amid pressure from Biden, families Victims' relatives hold Capitol Hill meetings to push police reform MORE (D-N.J.), among others.