LOS ANGELES - A civil rights group has called for more police protection of mosques after several in California received letters that praised President-elect Donald Trump and threatened Muslim genocide.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said the same handwritten, photocopied letter was sent last week to the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont and the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
The L.A. area mosques received it Wednesday and the San Jose mosque on Thursday.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Bay Area chapter released a copy of the letter, which read:
To the children of Satan, You Muslims are a vile and filthy people. Your mothers are whores and your fathers are dogs. You are evil. You worship the devil. But your day of reckoning has arrived.
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.
This is a great time for patriotic Americans. Love live President Trump and God bless the USA.
“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,” the letter states, according to CAIR. “And, he’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the jews (sic).”
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-LA, said people at the L.A. County mosques were disheartened by the hateful letters and added that the “irresponsible, hateful rhetoric” of the Trump campaign has fueled “a level of vulgarity, vile hatred and anger among many self-proclaimed Trump supporters.”
“I’m not saying (Trump) created racist people,” he said. “He normalized it. While he might say he’s not responsible, and I respect that, I remind President-elect Trump that he has a responsibility to act as a president for all Americans.”
San Jose Police Department spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia said police have opened an investigation and are treating it as a “hate-motivated incident.”
CBS Los Angeles reports local Muslims have been rattled by the incident.
“It’s kind of sad to see this kind of thing still exists,” said Nadya Aweinat.
She said it was hard to accept this letter in this day and age.
“That ignorance is shocked to me,” she said, “That there’s still that level of ignorance in our society.”
People in the mosque who have read the letter, postmarked from Santa Clarita with a fake name and phony address, said in addition to hate-filled it was rather juvenile.
“The handwriting is somewhat, no much of what they wrote, it’s someone that doesn’t have much intelligence. It’s written on a childish level,” said Regina Smadi.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that since Election Day, there have been more than 700 reports of hate crimes across the country -- vandalism, physical and verbal assaults, harassment and destruction of property -- directed against Muslims, African-Americans, Asians, immigrants, women and gays. In many cases the perpetrators allude to Mr. Trump, whose campaign was often criticized as playing to white nationalist prejudices. Critics charge that Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and subsequent election victory, has emboldened racists to speak up or act out, leading to nationwide demonstrations against racism and misogyny.
In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” in the days following the election, Mr. Trump denounced the acts of violence and told people involved in such incidents to “stop it.”