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 SandersSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Buttigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisClyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates Sanders is a risk, not a winner House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll Sanders has wide leads in two of three battleground states: survey MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announces tumor on kidney, will undergo treatment The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dem anxiety grows ahead of Super Tuesday House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (D-N.J.), among others.