27 November 2016
After Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election, harassment against minority groups has spiked. Even before the Islamophobic president-elect’s win, his virulent anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric caued hate crimes against Muslims to reach their highest levels since 9/11.
Since his election, hate mail has been sent to mosques across the country.
One of these letters, sent to three mosques in California, is addressed “the the children of Satan,” and says “[Trump’s] going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to Jews.”
Another, sent to the Islamic Center of Savannah Georgia, referred to Muslims as “vile and filthy people” who believed in a Satanic faith and urged them to “pack your bags and get out of dodge” because Trump is “going to cleans America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims.”
The letter concludes: “This is a great time for patriotic Americans,” the letter concluded. “Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A.”
The sentiment is particularly worrying in light of a Trump’s own numerous hateful comments toward Muslims, and one of his transition team members citing internment camps as a precedent for a national Muslim registry, something the president-elect has not ruled out.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking for these incidents to be investigated as religious intimidation. According to ABC News, at least one of them is being investigated as a “hate-motivated incident.” The group is also asking for increased police protection at local mosques.
Even though the mosques are being targeted with hate, leaders are responding in a way that seeks to build bridges. Faisal Yazadi, who chairs the board of the Islamic center in San Jose a letter was sent to, asked the person who sent the letter to engage in dialogue.
“Our doors are never locked,” Yazadi told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I hope that person knows that we’re more than happy to have a dialogue. Hopefully, we learn a thing or two from him or her, and he or she learns something from us.”
Hussam Ayloush, who heads the LA chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says Trump’s rhetoric gave rise to this kind of hate.
“I’m not saying [Trump] created racist people,” Ayloush told the Los Angeles 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.”
Ashley Dejean, "Letters to mosques: Trump’s “going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to Jews”" Fusion November 27, 2016
Greg Bluestein, "Threat letter to Savannah mosque urges Muslims to ‘get out of dodge’" AJC November 27, 2016