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The Utah Islamic Center in Sandy is hosting a new series of Friday evening meetings in hopes of encouraging and strengthening ties with the wider community.

Open to all, the 7:30 p.m. gatherings at the mosque, 235 W. 9000 South, have been prompted partly by negative rhetoric directed at American Muslims and the Islamic faith during the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump, a spokeswoman said.

The informal meetings will begin Friday and run on successive Fridays through Dec. 16.

"We want people to feel comfortable," said Angela ElSayed. "We want to be reachable, and we want people to know us."

The gatherings will feature question-and-answer sessions, light refreshments "and just getting to know each other better," ElSayed said.

She and others among Utah's more than 20,000 Muslims were shaken in the immediate aftermath of Trump's victory in light of his campaign calling for a ban on Muslim immigrants and creation of a law-enforcement registry of Muslims already in the U.S.

In days since the result, ElSayed said members of the Islamic Center had received "an amazing amount of support from our Utah community."