Several mosques in California received letters that threatened violence against Muslims and praised President-elect Donald Trump, prompting the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to call for added protection at Islamic worship places in the state.
The handwritten and photocopied letters were sent last week to the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont and the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose. They were addressed to “the children of satan” and said Trump is “going to cleanse America,” CAIR said in a statement Saturday, citing 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,” the letter, signed by “American for A Better Way,” said, adding: “And, he’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the jews (sic).”
“We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship,” Zahra Billoo, the executive director of CAIR in San Francisco Bay Area said in the statement. “Our state’s political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide.”
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR in Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times the “irresponsible, hateful rhetoric” of the Trump campaign sparked “a level of vulgarity, vile hatred and anger among many self-proclaimed Trump supporters.”
“I’m not saying [Trump] created racist people,” Ayloush told the Times. “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.”
Police in San Jose have launched an investigation and are treating it as a “hate-motivated incident,” the Associated Press reported, citing San Jose Police Department spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia.
There have been over 700 reports of hate crimes against Muslims, African-Americans, Asians, immigrants, women and gays across the U.S. since Election Day, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.
Trump condemned the violence in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and urged people to “stop it.