Three California mosques were reportedly received hateful letters which were sent anonymously with a warning that President-elect Donald Trump would “cleanse” the United States of Muslims.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called for increased police protection of local mosques. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the group, said that the letters were identical and were postmarked as being sent from Santa Clarita just north of Los Angeles.
The letters were sent to two Los Angeles area mosques — the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont — according to CAIR’s greater Los Angeles chapter. The same letter was sent to the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, according to CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter.
The letters were handwritten, photocopied, and addressed to “the children of Satan” and called Muslims a “vile and filthy people.” According to CAIR-L.A., the letters state “Your day of reckoning has arrived. There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleans America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims.”
“You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge,” they said. They are signed by “Americans for a Better Way,” and claim that Trump is “going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”
In an interview, Ayloush said that the Claremont and Long Beach centers received the letters on Wednesday and had been reluctant to go public with them due to concern over encouraging copycats or creating panic. However, once the Northern California letter surfaced, they decided to inform the public and encourage police to look into the matter.
He said that people at the L.A. County mosques were “disheartened that anyone would address fellow Americans, fellow human beings, in such a hateful, dehumanizing way.”
“You always want to trust that most people are good, that your neighbors have been good, and that has been our experience,” he added. Ayloush said:
“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 he created racist people. He normalized it. White 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.”
L.A. law enforcement leaders vowed to crack down on hate crimes, which appear to have surged across the nation last year. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said that “Acts of hate tear at the fabric of who we are as a nation, and we want to send a strong message that no one should be reluctant or afraid to report a hate crime.”
The San Jose Police Department said in a statement that following a report about the letter, it sent officers to the Evergreen Islamic Center on Thursday and that a unit that handles hate crimes will conduct the probe.