PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mosques in California, Georgia and one in Pennsylvania have been the target of anti-Muslim hate letters. The notes appear to be written by Donald Trump supporters.
The Pennsylvania letter is addressed to the Islamic Center of Greater Harrisburg and refers to Muslims as “Children of Satan” and reads in part that “there’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump — he’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again.”
“It’s a sad commentary on the times in which we live,” says Jacob Bender, Executive Director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
He says the Harrisburg center received the handwritten letter over the weekend from Raza Khan- a common Muslim name from a false Harrisburg address. Four Mosques in other states received a similar letter. While President Elect Donald Trump has disavowed similar acts of hate in response to journalists inquiries, CAIR is taking the position that he and other government officials be more direct.
“This type of racism and bigotry against non-White people and non-Christians has always been under the surface of America,” says Bender. “Times demand that government officials denounce this hatred before it leads to uncontrollable violence.”
CAIR reps say they’ve received over 100 reports of hate across the country. Bender says the Philadelphia chapter of CAIR is planning town halls in throughout Pennsylvania to open dialogue.
“There’s a lot of fear and nervousness among Muslims,” says Bender. “We want to answer their questions and talk about the legal implications of this.”