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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris to pitch using federal funds to give teachers pay raises Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Booker endorses New Jersey marijuana legalization bill MORE (D-N.J.), among others.