California police investigating letters to mosques comparing Trump to Hitler

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Nov. 28, 2016 at 7:42 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Three California mosques received letters threatening that President-elect Donald Trump will "do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews," a reference to the atrocities of the Holocaust, police said.

The handwritten notes were sent to the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont in Pomona and the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, according to a Facebook post by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR has called for increased police protection of local mosques in wake of the threats.

The photocopied letter was addressed to "the children of Satan" and called Muslims a "vile and filthy people." It was signed by "Americans for a Better Way."

The letters praised Trump, calling him the "new sheriff in town."

The Evergreen Islamic Center was the first to receive the letter Thursday night after the center's imam found it in the mail, the reported.

The letter is being treated as a "hate-motivated incident," said Sgt. Enrique Garcia, spokesman for the San Jose Police Department.

On Saturday, CAIR said the Islamic centers in Long Beach and Pomona received the letter.

"The hate campaign targeting California houses of worship must be investigated as an act of religious intimidation, and our state's leaders should speak out against the growing anti-Muslim bigotry that leads to such incidents," Hussam Ayloush, executive director for CAIR's office in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

CAIR's national office has noted an increase in incidents targeting American Muslims and other minority groups since the Nov. 8 presidential election. More than 100 anti-Muslim incidents have occurred across the country, according to CAIR.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide reported 257 anti-Muslim incidents last year, an increase of nearly 67 percent from 2014, according to FBI data released on Nov. 14. Additionally, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported 701 harassment incidents since the election.

Last week, Los Angeles law enforcement leaders spoke to the media about the wide-ranging effects of bias crimes on the area.

"Acts of hate tear at the fabric of who we are as a nation, and we want to send a strong message that no one should be reluctant or afraid to report a hate crime," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said.

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey also appeared at the news conference.

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