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Religious, Cultural Group Leaders Meet To Condemn Intolerant Acts

Rima

Many are blaming President-elect Donald Trump’s inflammatory campaign rhetoric for encouraging a slew of racist and intolerant behavior being reported around the country. Leaders from a number of religious and cultural groups in Indiana met Friday to denounce similar acts witnessed throughout the state.

Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana Rima Shahid says the Muslim community has reported instances of bullying, intimidation and physical assaults.

Shahid laments the trend, noting Muslims have been a part of the country since long before America declared its independence.

“We hope and pray that new elected officials and administrations that take office in January will be guided to preserve our Constitutional liberties…and most cherished values of freedom and equality,” Shahid says.

Indianapolis Urban League CEO Tony Mason says he’s attended meetings with local citizens and heard some of the same words come up when describing how they feel.

“Hopelessness, fear, shock, disappointment, confusion. No one should feel this way,” Mason says. “Not today, not on any day in Indiana. Not in Indianapolis. No one.”

Leaders from other religious and cultural organizations attended to show their support, including those from Catholic, Jewish, Latino and immigrant groups.

Graffiti and schoolroom bullying make up most of the reported intolerant acts in Indiana since the presidential election earlier this month. Some reports have come from a church in Brown County, a school in Columbus, a residence in Lawrence County, a trail in Bloomington, and the president of Indiana University.

Chairman of the Marion County Democratic Party Joel Miller released a statement Friday denouncing the behavior. He says County Democrats “oppose these actions and the cowards who undertake them as well as every person, group and political party which stands by denying the problem or minimizing the effects of these hateful acts.”

The Indianapolis school reform group Stand for Children sent a letter Tuesday to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, asking him to condemn racial bullying in schools. He has not responded to the letter.

When asked about the reports in a recent TV interview with 60 Minutes, President-elect Trump told supporters to stop harassing minorities.

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