The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for police to increase protection of mosques after at least three in California received identical handwritten letters that vow President-elect Donald Trump will “do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” The same photocopied letter was sent to the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont, and the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose over the past week. The horrific letter is addressed “to the children of Satan” and calls Muslims “vile and filthy people” that “worship the devil.”
“Your day of reckoning has arrived,” warns the letter. “There’s a new sheriff in town – President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims. He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews. You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge.” The letter was signed by “Americans for a Better Way.”
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-LA, blamed the “irresponsible, hateful rhetoric” of Trump’s campaign for fueling “a level of vulgarity, vile hatred, and anger among many self-proclaimed trump supporters.” Ayloush went on to say that law enforcement must investigate the letters “as an act of religious intimidation.”
CAIR is also calling on politicians to speak up against Islamophobia. “We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship,” said Zahra Billoo, the head of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter. “Our state’s political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide.”
Los Angeles–area Muslims said they were shocked that someone could send a letter like that in 2016. “It’s kind of sad to see this kind of thing still exists,” Nadya Aweinat told the local CBS affiliate.
The letters come at a time when there has been a surge in hate crimes and other hateful rhetoric. CAIR says there have been more than 100 anti-Muslim incidents since Trump won the election. The Southern Poverty Law Center said last week that there had been 701 “hateful incidents of harassment” across the United States since the presidential election.