'Hateful letters' sent to California Muslims

CAIR considers asking FBI to investigate letters saying "You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out".

    The letters were postmarked as being sent from Santa Clarita [CAIR/Facebook]
    The letters were postmarked as being sent from Santa Clarita [CAIR/Facebook]

    Hateful letters sent anonymously to three mosques in California with a warning that President-elect Donald Trump would "cleanse" the US of Muslims have stirred fears among congregants, according to a community leader.

    Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said on Saturday the letters were identical and were postmarked as being sent from Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles.

    Ayloush said his group was considering asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into the letters, which he believes were sent to other mosques aside from the three that received them earlier this week.

    Harassment reports

    Civil rights groups have signalled alarm over attacks targeting minorities, including Muslims, since Trump, the Republican candidate, won the presidential election on November 8.

    There have also been reports of harassment towards Trump supporters.

     US elections: Did racism trump economics?

    The letters were sent earlier this week to the Islamic centres of Long Beach and Claremont in Southern California and to Evergreen Islamic Center in the Northern California city of San Jose, Ayloush said.

    They are signed anonymously as "Americans for a Better Way" and say that Trump would "cleanse America and make it shine again" and would carry out a genocide against Muslims.

    "You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge," the letter said.

    Ayloush said he has advised the three mosques to work with their local police departments to have the sending of the letters investigated as hate crimes.

    The San Jose Police Department, in a statement, said that following a report about the letter, it sent officers to Evergreen Islamic Center on Thursday and that a unit that handles hate crime investigations will conduct the probe.

    Graffiti markings

    Trump's name has been mentioned in some hateful graffiti markings that have surfaced since his election.

    A representative of Trump's transition team could not be reached immediately for comment.

    Last year, as a candidate in the Republican presidential primary, Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US.

    Trump this year pledged to suspend immigration from some Muslim countries, but did not say he still wanted to ban all Muslims.

    Following his election, Trump, who takes office on January 20, promised to be a president for all Americans.

    CAIR has tallied more than 100 incidents targeting Muslims in the US since Trump was elected.

    SOURCE: News Agencies


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