Muslims, police march together in Upper Darby
"Muslims have feelings." "REAL Muslims are peaceful" "All humans united against terrorism." So read just a few of the signs that were carried, clutched and hung up this morning by dozens of Muslim men, women and children at the Masjid Al Madinah Mosque and Islamic Center, in Upper Darby Townshp.
"Muslims have feelings."
"REAL Muslims are peaceful"
"All humans united against terrorism."
So read just a few of the signs that were carried, clutched and hung up this morning by dozens of Muslim men, women and children at the Masjid Al Madinah Mosque and Islamic Center, in Upper Darby Townshp.
Muslim leaders from the center, on 69th Street near Walnut, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Upper Darby police at a morning news conference to denounce ISIS and affirm their alliance with the police department and their status as American citizens.
"ISIS is like Hitler," said Abu Amin Rahman, of the Islamic Center. "We are not them and they are not with us."
Michael Chitwood, the Upper Darby police superintendent, said his department has worked with members the Islamic community over the last year to address concerns and ensure their safety.
"Today was the day we wanted to go public with our relationship," Chitwood said.
According to Chitwood and leaders at the center, not a single incident of discrimination against the Islamic community has been reported in Upper Darby.
However, the Muslim leaders present expressed growing concern over the vitriolic speech and "outrageous remarks" of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the discourse in this country, overall, about their religion and their allegiances.
Kamal Rahman, one of the center's leaders, offered an open invitation to the community to come and visit the center and the mosque.
"We are here. We are proud of it. We are proud to be American," Rahman said. "By getting to know one another we can persevere through this challenging time."
Chitwood noted that Upper Darby has long been and continues to be a "melting pot" of a township where people from 100 countries from across the world speak 70 languages.
"We want to make sure everybody understands we are part of the community, just like Muslims are part of the community," he said.