Call for police protection after RI Islamic center receives hate letter

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a Rhode Island center for Islamic worship received a hate-filled, threatening letter calling for them to leave, the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) is calling for more police protection of local mosques.

The handwritten letter is nearly word-for-word the same as letters sent to mosques in multiple cities in California. It’s addressed to the “Children of Satan,” saying that Muslims worship the Devil and “are a vile and filthy people” and claiming that President-elect Donald Trump will “cleanse America and make it shine again.”

“He’s [Trump] going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews. You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge,” the letter said. Like the California letters, it was signed, “Americans for a Better Way.”

“It’s exactly the same handwriting… It basically looks to me just like a copy,” said Faissal Elansari of the Islamic Center of Rhode Island. “This is really alarming.

“You feel that wave of hate is really at your doorstep… You’re really concerned about your community members, your kids, your families,” Elansari continued.

In a statement Wednesday, Dr. John Robbins, the executive director of the Massachusetts Council on American-Islamic Relations said the letter was addressed to the mosque known as Masjid Al-Kareem in south Providence. “This act of hate campaign targeting a New England house of worship must be investigated by state and federal law enforcement authorities, and our state’s leaders should speak out against the growing anti-Muslim bigotry that inevitably leads to such incidents,” Robbins said.

CAIR has also published a pamphlet for Muslims advising extra personal safety precautions for worshippers.

Elansari noted the postmark on the Rhode Island letter came from California, and said he hopes the FBI will investigate it.