More US mosques receive letters threatening genocide

More US mosques receive letters threatening genocide
More mosques across the United States have said they received hate-filled letters from California warning Muslims to leave the country or face genocide.
3 min read
01 December, 2016
Letters have been received by six mosques in California [Getty]

Several more mosques across the United States have reported receiving a hate-filled letter from California that warns Muslims to leave the country or face genocide.

The identical letters postmarked from the Los Angeles area have now shown up at mosques throughout California and in Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, Indiana, Colorado and Georgia.

Los Angeles police have been investigating the letters addressed to "the children of Satan" as a hate incident, but not a crime because it does not contain a specific threat.

The letters appeared to be photocopies of a handwritten note referring to Muslims as "vile and filthy people" and saying that President-elect Donald Trump would do to Muslims what Hitler did to Jews.

"Your day of reckoning has arrived," the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy organisation for Muslims in the US, quoted the letter as saying. 

"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 Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked the FBI to investigate.

The FBI said the threats, while inflammatory and awful, do not pose a threat specific enough to investigate at this point, but they're monitoring the situation and urged anyone to report such incidents.

Police in Providence, Rhode Island, said they would increase patrols after one of the letters was received at Masjid al-Kareem.

Envelopes have had a return address in the city the letter was sent - often 331 Oak St. - but are postmarked in Los Angeles or Santa Clarita, a suburb about 30 miles north.

The name above the return address is Reza Khan, said Shehadeh Abdel Karim, president of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, which received one of the letters. He noted that it was a Muslim name.

"The person obviously knows a little about Muslim culture," Abdel Karim said.

The name is bogus, said Sgt. Mike Abdeen of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, which is assisting LAPD.

Letters have been received at six mosques in California, including Los Angeles, Fresno and San Jose, according to police and Islamic groups.

Elsewhere, they have also turned up at mosques in Denver, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Savannah, Georgia, and a school affiliated with an Indianapolis mosque.

Trump railed against Muslims and immigrants during the presidential campaign and since his election on 8 November, more than 100 anti-Muslim incidents have been reported across the country, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said.

It quoted the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes, as saying that more than 700 incidents targeting different minority groups had been documented since Election Day.

Earlier this month, the FBI reported that hate crimes against Muslims in the United States surged 67 percent in 2015 – to the highest level since the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks.

The bureau's Uniform Crime Report documented 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes, up from 154 in 2014.

Agencies contributed to this report.