The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations called Tuesday for the FBI to investigate a note left on the door of Sudanese-American family calling them “terrorists” and telling them to “go home.”
Amar Samel, an American citizen who moved with family from Sudan in 2010, had been out attending a family gathering to mourn the death of his father on Friday night. When he returned home he encountered a handwritten note taped to the front door of his Iowa City home.
“You can all go home now. We don’t want n------ and terrorists here. #Trump.”
At the time the note was left, Samel’s wife and two children were in the house. “I did not believe what I was seeing,” Samel, who works as a night custodian at a local high school, told Cedar Rapids daily, The Gazette. “I live in a peaceful city, a liberal city that is accepting of diversity.”
— Stephen Mally (@stephenmally) November 15, 2016
The response Samel got from the police was less than reassuring. “He said, ‘Take it [the note] down and throw it away. There’s really nothing I can do,” Samel recounted, describing how the officer he spoke to over the phone refused to come to the house.
Interim Iowa City Police Chief Bill Campbell said Monday the initial response had been “absolutely unacceptable.” A detective was later assigned to investigate the hate crime.
However, the Iowa chapter of CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group, has said that doesn’t go far enough.
“Because this is just the latest in a growing number of post-election hate incidents targeting American Muslims and other minority groups, we urge the FBI to add its resources to the investigation,” said CAIR-Iowa Executive Director Miriam Amer.
The FBI reported Monday that the number of hate crimes against Muslims grew by 67 percent increase in 2015 from the previous year, to their highest total since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. And reports suggest there has been another alarming spike since the election of Donald Trump as president-elect last week.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes, published figures showing that between Wednesday of last week and Monday, there were more than 40 incidents of harassment and intimidation against Muslims and more than 130 that were anti-immigrant in nature.
During his campaign, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as for Muslims currently in the United States to be forced to register in a database. Trump came under further fire for appointing Stephen Bannon, who critics have called a racist, as his chief White House Strategist and senior counselor.
Reports that he has asked anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney to join his transition team have sparked further fear among Muslims. In the past, Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy, has accused President Barack Obama of being a Muslim and claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating high levels of the U.S. government, including Hillary Clinton’s long-time aide Huma Abedin. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Gaffney “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes.”