Three deputies from the ruling Democratic Party in the US Congress have urged fellow lawmakers to attend prayer services as a display of solidarity with American Muslims at a Virginia mosque that was attacked last month.
Democratic Reps. Don Beyer, Keith Ellison and Joseph Crowley invited lawmakers in a Wednesday letter to prayer services this Friday at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in the Northern Virginia suburb of Falls Church.
According to local news reports, a 27-year-old male was charged with using a fake explosive device at the mosque. The mosque's outreach director further told the Falls Church News-Press that another man had entered the mosque days before and yelled, "You people don't belong here."
Both incidents occurred after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for.
"We must show that we will not tolerate Islamophobia and that those who propagate it do not represent the melting-pot America that we celebrate," the lawmakers wrote. "Help us show solidarity with the American Muslim community by joining us on Friday.
"If you cannot join us on Friday, we invite you to attend prayers at a mosque in your congressional district to show Muslims around the country that members of Congress stand with them in the face of intolerance," they added.
Ellison, one of two Muslims serving in Congress, directly accused Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump of inciting anti-Muslim attitudes leading to violence.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Trump said he would create a database to keep track of Muslims in the United States. "Sadly, attacks on Muslim Americans have increased due to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for the surveillance of mosques and registering Muslim Americans," Ellison said.