HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner reached out to Houston's Muslim community Monday night through a special town hall meeting.
"There's a lot of anxiety, nervousness, tension...not just among adults but amongst children, and this city is a city of immigrants," Turner said. "There's no other city that's as diverse as the city of Houston, and I think people want to know this is still a welcoming city."
The mayor hopes to calm any fears in the community, especially related to recent headlines in the press.
"People have seen everything from the Muslim ban on their television set to regulations that no one can understand from the Department of Homeland Security," Muslim community leader Mustafa Tameez said. "This is a way for the city and the mayor to say that you're welcome, and that the city is with you— and the mayor is with you."
The mayor was joined by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo to reinforce that message.
"The police department is here for them," Acevedo said. "They stand with them. We're not going to tolerate hate here. We're not going to tolerate people being targeted, and we're not going to tolerate any extreme— whether it's folks targeting Muslims or Muslims targeting Christians. We're gonna treat each other with respect."
"We don't care what your language may be, we don't care what your faith may be," the mayor added. "You are welcome in this city."