A Dauphin County community speaks out against letter attacking Muslims

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STEELTON, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Several Islamic mosques across the country received a letter attacking Muslims, including the Islamic Center of Greater Harrisburg in Dauphin County.

Islamic Center of Greater Harrisburg council president Asghar Rizwan said "when we opened it, when we read the contents, we were very surprised, and we were very disappointed.

The letter will soon find its way in the hands of the U.S. Postmaster and the FBI.

"We also came to know the same copy of the letter was also sent around to other mosques around the country too," Rizwan said.

The letter which speaks of tearing a group of people apart brings together several members of the community.

Pennsylvania state representative Patty Kim (D-103rd legislative district) said "I think a lot of ignorance and hate dialogue has infiltrated this country, and I wanted to stand here and say it needs to stop."

Steelton borough manager Doug Brown said "we take the approach that if there is hate in our community, we're going to address it in our community."

The letter states "there is a new sheriff in town, president Donald Trump. He will cleanse America and make it shine again." It's why some blame the current political climate.

Islamic Center of Greater Harrisburg worshiper Atizaz Mansoor said "that some people feel more at ease to express their, at the low end concern and at the high end outright bigotry."

"Their faith is very important to them, as a Christian, I like the freedom to worship peacefully in the United States, and they do as well," Kim said.

"I grew up these things weren't an issue, I could just focus on being a kid, and that's not possible right now for our children, our children have this innocence stripped from them," Mansoor said.

There also are other concerns as Steelton police have stepped up patrols to protect the worshipers at the Islamic Center of Greater Harrisburg.

Steelton police chief Anthony Minium said "since I've taken over as chief, we've had a number of calls, some threats made by the phone, email, concern during their services that a group might come down, an armed group may come down."

The group who came together does believe in fighting the message of hate with weapons, but with words and a st of kindness.

"I think if we can be more neighborly, that helps dispel and mute the small number of people who right now have an amplified voice," Mansoor said.

Worshiper Samia Malik said "if good people surround each with other good people these things will not happen."