People fear what they do not know.
I live in Texas, but I'm not from here. I find that many of my neighbors who are racist or homophobic simply don't know people who aren't straight white Christians. They've never sat down and shared a meal with someone who is gay, black, or Muslim. They rely on what other people tell them about various groups of people.
I recently had a conversation with my neighbor's adult son, about Muslims. He's afraid of Muslims. I asked him if he actually knew any, and he said no, but pointed to stories in the news.
I countered with the fact that I run into Muslim women in the grocery store, and smile and chat with them, just like I do with any other women I meet there. Some of the checkers at our local Walmart are Muslim, and they're just as polite and chatty as those who aren't. These people aren't nameless, faceless others any longer. They're our neighbors, and the people we interact with as we do business.
Is our city suddenly some hotbed of radical terrorist activity? No. It's quiet and safe, just as it always has been. People are moving here from other places in the world, but they want the same thing the rest of us do: to lead a quiet, happy life.
I think when people get to know those they fear, they realize we have more in common than we have differences.