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Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Letter to Muslims in His City

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A refreshing example of inclusive  leadership by a presidential candidate.

Written by Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana

March 15, 2019

Dear Members of the Islamic Society of Michiana:

I am sorry that I cannot join you in person tonight, because I am traveling. But like you, I was shocked by this morning’s news of events in New Zealand. I know that this act of terror was intended to put fear in our hearts, and that the fear was designed to travel around the world. We are a long way from the place where this happened, but I know that on this Jummah Friday, many in our own community, especially people of Muslim faith, are wondering if they are safe or even if they belong.

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. We will do everything we can to ensure your safety as we do that of everyone who lives here and who visits here.

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.

And I write not only to console you and reassure you, but to ask something of you. I wish to tell you not only that you are loved but also that you are needed. The City very much needs you at a time like this, because you help to demonstrate the values and desires that we all have in common. In your community involvement, in your professional work, in your very presence — when you live in accordance with your faith, and bring your stories and traditions to the tapestry of the City and country, you are not only exercising a right but also bearing a gift.

You are our teachers and our doctors; our neighbors and our friends. We all live here as one, and whether you grew up right here in South Bend or whether this is your first year in America, you have an equal claim on the blessings of life in this community, and a great deal to contribute. And so we are thankful to count you among us.

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7 Comments

  1. Janice A Frank April 3, 2019

    Finally, a man of words and empathy, something sorely missing in today’s world. Thank you Mayor Buttigieg. I am proud to call you a neighbor and a great American. Keep up the good work. You can be assured of my vote.

    Reply
  2. David Andersen March 21, 2019

    Wow, just wow. The true definition of a leader. Thank you for sharing something so positive in light of such a tragic event. I love his message of embracing, and encouraging rather than allowing, and tolerating. Very different from so many other political figures.

    Reply
  3. Michelle March 21, 2019

    This young man is a leader worthy of our support. He understands the need for action now to avoid future issues. He will be alive long enough to care what happens 20 years from now, and we need leaders who care about the future we leave for the children of this nation. It does my heart good to see this man stepping forward in leadership. He raises the level of the conversation and I appreciate him for it. It is good to see that not all white men missed the memo about leading with love, compassion and inclusiveness.

    Reply
  4. Mary March 20, 2019

    Thank you, thank you thank you.. where are the rest of our leaders.

    Reply
  5. Warren Durham March 19, 2019

    The best article that I’ve read in a very long time.

    Reply
  6. Nona March 19, 2019

    Thank you for sharing. In times like these we need to see the true leaders like Mr. Buttiegieg who demonstrate what this nation is founded on – caring, mutual respect, and inclusivity.

    Reply
  7. Sharon Kerr March 19, 2019

    Very well said. Refreshing.

    Reply

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