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County leaders urge vigilance to help quell hate crimes

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Representatives from the County police, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and the Anti-Defamation League urged everyone who attended a Hate Crime Prevention Forum on Monday to take pictures and call police every time they see any incidents of hate, no matter how minor the incident.

“Everyone’s got a phone. Record it,” urged County Police Chief Tom Manger. Send a message that hate is not welcome here, he said.

“We need help from citizens so we can get in front of it before it becomes a crime,” added Gordon Johnson, special agent from the Baltimore office of the FBI.

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Muslim center celebrates 40 years in the county

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SILVER SPRING – While anti-Islamic hate crimes have risen nationally in recent years, the members of the Muslim Community Center on New Hampshire Avenue say they feel as welcome in Montgomery County as they have since the center opened in 1976.

The center was the brainchild of several Montgomery County residents who, at the time, attended the Islamic Center of Washington on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., and were interested in starting a community center to service the county. Sajjad Durrani, a founder of the center who still serves on its board of trustees, recalls that the center received support from the community during its construction. 

“When we applied for a permit, there was a public hearing with the County, of course,” Durrani said. “Many people around here came to the hearing to support us, which made a big impression on us. During construction, the church next door allowed us to use their power and brought water over to us.”

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Berliner supports local Muslim communities

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SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-1) came to the Muslim Community Center as part of MCC’s Community Education Series to address members’ concerns regarding hate crimes in the area after the MCC received a threatening letter in late February.           

“This is a time and a conversation that I never thought I’d have in my lifetime,” Berliner said.  “For those of us who believe in government and the goodness of our people, this has been a particularly challenging time … if you don’t feel welcome in Montgomery County, then we’ve failed you.”

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Panelists answer questions on anti-Semitic hate crimes at D.C. town hall

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WASHINGTON – Community leaders and representatives of D.C. government shared messages of encouragement and of community support at a public forum on anti-Semitic hate crimes at the Washington Hebrew Congregation Thursday.

Each speaker gave words of encouragement to the group of more than 100 people who attended the town hall.

Rev. Thomas L. Bowen, director of religious affairs for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, attended to represent the mayor’s office.

“I am here because our mayor is concerned about what happens in our city,” he said.

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Muslim Community Center sponsors symposium on tolerance

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SILVER SPRING –The staff of the Muslim Community Center invited the public to a panel discussion held on the center grounds Tuesday night on “How to oppose hate in our communities.” The discussion focused on ways to respond to hate crimes, combat negative stereotypes of various groups as well as resistance to troubling policies, such as President Trump’s recently-overturned ban on traveling to seven Muslim majority countries and proposed mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

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Hate crimes in the county

 

 

Hate Crime Forum 2Fred Davis, Hessie Harris, Daryl Davis, Brian Karem, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and Ron Halber at the forum on hate crimes. PHOTO BY MARK POETKERMonday night the Montgomery County Sentinel sponsored a community forum on the subject of hate crime.
We invited civic leaders, county council members, our local police chief and someone from the Help Save Maryland organization.
This prompted telephone calls, some our office manager deemed “harassing” and several emails – one of which said that in tolerant Montgomery County we could not tolerate an organization like Help Save Maryland.

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Sentinel Hosts Live Stream Roundtable on Hate Crimes

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ROCKVILLE -  The Montgomery County Sentinel will be hosting a live stream roundtable discussion on hate crimes in our community and solutions for dealing with them.

The roundtable discussion will be held on Monday, January 23rd, in the Council Hearing Room (3rd floor) in the County Council Building at 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 

Brian J. Karem, the executive editor for The Sentinel Newspapers will moderate the event which is scheduled from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 

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Metro follies, elections top Montgomery 2016 stories

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Metro fireA fire in a subway tunnel was just one of the challenges Metro endured as it dealt with derailments, shutdowns and firings. FILE PHOTO  

With Metro shutting down, voters backing term limits, an explosion killing seven people at an apartment complex, racist and anti-Semitic graffiti popping out throughout the county, and a Sentinel investigation revealing problems with local water infrastructure, 2016 will certainly be a year to remember in Montgomery County.

Meanwhile in Prince George’s County, 2016 featured a new hospital is on the way, a delay for a much anticipated mode of travel, two new council seats, and tumultuous times for the county school system.

And The Sentinel was there to see it all. Here are the stories of 2016, from where we sit.

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