City, county leaders reassure local Muslims they’re welcome, safe after Iran’s attacks

‘San Antonio is a safe place for anybody,' says Councilman Pelaez

SAN ANTONIO – Missile attacks and growing tensions in Iran have prompted city and county leaders to address our local Muslim community.

On Friday, local leaders gathered to reassure Muslims they are welcome and should feel safe here in the Alamo City.

The strong message was received at the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center on the North Side, the biggest mosque in San Antonio.

“The late senator Robert F. Kennedy once said, ‘America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity,’" said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez said most Muslims in the Alamo City live and worship in his community and after events like the recent violent attacks toward American entities in Iraq, they have expressed concern for their safety.

“San Antonio is a safe place for anybody, no matter which book or which God you worship, no matter what language you speak, what country you hail from or what the color of your skin is,” Pelaez said. “Whenever there’s heightened tensions, these communities express fears of violence, reprisals and hate crimes because it happens.”

Understand: A closer look at U.S. and Iran conflict

Along with Pelaez, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar attended the event to show of solidarity and support. Pelaez is planning to visit other religious communities and address safety measures with them soon.

He’s urging anyone who feels that they are a target of hate to contact authorities immediately.

Photographer Steven Chavez contributed to this story.

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