Letters sent to California mosques threaten Donald Trump will "cleanse America"
Multiple California mosques received anonymous, violent messages last week pledging Republican President-elect Donald Trump would purge the country of Muslims and warning of violence against those who remained, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.
The photocopied letters arrived at the Islamic Center of Long Beach and the Islamic Center of Claremont, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
A statement from CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter said the letters were addressed to the "Children of Satan," called Muslims a "vile and filthy people" and told them to "pack your bags and get out of dodge." They continued, Trump is "going to cleanse America and it make it shine again. And, he's going to start with you Muslims."
"This is a great time for patriotic Americans," the letter continued. "Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A."
The messages were simply signed "Americans for a Better Way."
"We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship," CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo said in the statement. "Our state's political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide."
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit which tracks extremist groups across the country, has cataloged more than 700 "reports of hateful incidents of harassment around the country" in the week between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16. Hate crimes overall rose 6% in 2015, the New York Times reported, with attacks against Muslims seeing the "biggest surge" with a 67% increase from 2014.
Gallup surveys have shown slightly over four in 10 Americans admit to harboring some kind of prejudice against Muslims, while separate polling conducted by the Arab American Institute has shown worsening public attitudes towards both Arabs and Muslims.
While Trump recently told supporters engaged in harassing Muslims and other racial minorities to "stop it," his rhetoric on the campaign trail has indicated otherwise. Over the course of the 2016 campaign, Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the country and requiring those in the U.S. to have their names put in a national registry.