NEW JERSEY IMAMS RECEIVE THREATENING LETTERS
(TOTOWA, N.J., 2/1/2007) - The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to treat threatening letters mailed recently to Muslim leaders in that state as hate crimes. The threats targeted the imams, or religious leaders, of at least two New Jersey mosques.
One of the letters, mailed in December of last year and forwarded to CAIR-NJ, stated in part: "Because you worship the devil ALLAH, who has brought death, destruction, and hatred upon my country, you must now DIE!! DEATH TO ALL OF YOU!!!" The same mosque also received a phone call expressing similar views near the time the threatening letter was received.
"We call on the FBI and local law enforcement authorities to classify these threats as hate crimes and to take every measure possible to ensure the safety of those targeted," said CAIR-NJ Communications Director Afsheen Shamsi.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.