By David Madden

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Muslim leaders in Upper Darby gathered with local officials in a bid to show a unified front against terrorism concerns within the community and beyond.

Both local police and officials at the Upper Darby Islamic Center insist they have had no problems since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, although residents do suggest there were a couple minor skirmishes settled amongst neighbors.

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And that is, perhaps, the point here. In this melting pot of a town, people are learning to get along.

“Let’s meet and talk and discuss your questions and concerns you may have,” center director Kamal Rahman told reporters gathered for a joint press conference. “But getting to know one another better we can preserve together through this challenging time and God willing come out a better and stronger community.”

Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says officials have conducted an open dialogue with local Muslims over the past year. And the peace now in place in his town should be a lesson to everyone else.

Rahman at podium. Chitwood to his right.(credit: David Madden)

Rahman at podium. Chitwood to his right.(credit: David Madden)

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“This is about opening the lines of communications to show people across the country and around the world that it works,” Chitwood said. “We’re together in this.”

(credit: David Madden)

(credit: David Madden)

Muslim leaders have a simple message. They are not terrorists. They live in peace. But only through getting to know one another can the doubts about that be properly addressed.

 

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