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Religious Leaders Address 'Islamophobia' Amid San Bernardino Attack

BALTIMORE (WJZ)--In the wake of San Bernardino's mass shooting many are fearing an anti-Muslim backlash.

Here in Maryland leaders from different religions came together to address "islamophobia."

WJZ's Tracey Leong has more.

Encouraging interfaith dialogue inside the Maryum Islamic Center in Howard County.

Faith leaders say the San Bernardino terror attack has heightened hatred and discrimination towards Muslims.

"We are saddened and angry about the islamophobia and xenophobia that is running rampant in our country," said Paige Getty, PATH, clergy co-chair.

"People in our communities are very afraid, they are being harassed and targeted," Father Gerry Bowen, St. John Catholic Church.

The event hosted by the organization PATH: People Acting Together in Howard County.

The group is calling for action to make their Muslim neighbors feel supported.

"To stand up for them when they are being discriminated against, and ostracized and persecuted in our communities," Getty said.

These leaders hoping to get rid of the fear that is plaguing America and dividing the country by creating a place of understanding.

"When we as Muslims come out and talk to our neighbors and coworkers, and so forth, and talk openly about who we are and what we believe in, that will make a difference," said Imam Mahmoud Abedel-hady, Maryum Islamic Center.

The PATH organization began in 2004 and has more than 500 leaders.

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