Published: Thu, December 01, 2016
USA | By Yvette Dunn

California mosques receive letters threatening Muslims

California mosques receive letters threatening Muslims

The press conference was held to denounce the hate letter which several mosques have received over the last week.

The same letter was also sent to the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, California.

The news conference was held at the Islamic Center of Southern California, where Muslim leaders and clerics were joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Both were postmarked on Nov.19. The groups were debating whether to go public with the letters, he said, because they did not want to encourage copycats or create panic. "We feel we're confident we'll be able to identify the person".

The letter says there is a "new sheriff in town" - Trump, who at one point called on the campaign trail for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslim immigration. Also, there has been no response from him in the aftermath of the series of hate letters being received by mosques in different parts of the country. From 2014 to 2015, anti-Muslim crimes in the U.S. rose by two-thirds, according to the FBI's latest annual hate crime report. "We are committed to protecting the community, we're committed together to show unification whenever there is any kind of expression, any kind of incident of hate or bias directed not just to our Muslim-American community but our community at large".

A "hate crime is as serious as a homicide to us". Al-Marayati said the problem of anti-Muslim sentiment was not a Muslim problem but an American problem.

The note is filled with hateful and threatening remarks like "you Muslims are vile and filthy people".

Trump had repeatedly vowed to ban Muslims from entering the United States and to deport illegal immigrants, unleashing a wave of civil unrest that began during the campaign and continued after his election. "And he's going to start with you Muslims", the letter says.

The author or authors signed the letter "Americans for a Better Way".

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Despite the concern and work by law enforcement, some in the Muslim community felt unsettled by the words.

"Folks that are intent on doing harm of this nature never give us warning, never give us a heads up", Woolery said.

"That ignorance is shocked to me", she said, "That there's still that level of ignorance in our society".

"It fueled people to become more aggressive", he said.

"They look like they've come from the same author", Wollory said.

The Islamic center warned parishioners to remain alert and keep an eye out for potential violence, but it is not planning to add visible security to watch over the mosque at this time.

"He was really upset", Tarifi said.

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