- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) - At a time when reports of anti-Muslim sentiment are rising, an Islamic Center in Missouri has received a different message.

Kamel Ghozzi, imam at the Islamic Center of Warrensburg, says “Welcome” and “Thank you for choosing our community” were written in chalk on the center’s sidewalk during the weekend.

The Warrensburg Daily-Star Journal (https://bit.ly/2gMTY5X ) reports vandals broke windows at the center in recent years.

Ghozzi says the “beautiful” messages prove Warrensburg is a good community.

Resident Karen Williamson says she and three others wrote the graffiti to demonstrate respect and acceptance for the Muslim community, saying they want Muslims to not be afraid to worship in Warrensburg, 60 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri.

Last month, a Dallas man held a sign reading “You Belong” near the Islamic Center of Irving, saying he was prompted by hatred directed at Muslims during the presidential election.

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Information from: Daily Star-Journal, https://www.dailystarjournal.com,

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