- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday visited an Islamic center in Waterloo that was vandalized over the weekend.

Albright was in town to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported (https://bit.ly/2dOR0cI ). But after learning of the vandalism - in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s last name was spray-painted in red on a wall - Albright added a stop at the center to hold an informal town hall about what it is to be Muslim is America.

“I really do think it is in communities that, here in America, people can understand each other as people and as believers in the commonality of what we all do, and how we treat each other, and what America is really about,” Albright told about 30 people who gathered at the Masjid Al-Noor Islamic Center on Wednesday.

She also asked those attending about the impact of the vandalism.

Elizabeth Collins, of Waterloo, said she believes “hateful rhetoric and the bigotry” led to the vandalism.

“It becomes an issue when you have an overwhelming amount of media portraying something like Islam like it’s not,” Collins said. “You see more of the bad than you see more of the good.”

Albright also criticized the negative tone of this election.

“I hate to say this,” she said. “I don’t like this election at all. I love politics. This is a hideous election in so many ways, because it is done specifically to divide us.”


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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