Several prominent New Jersey Muslim leaders, including a Clifton attorney and an imam from a Paterson mosque, have received letters threatening their lives, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The three letters, one of which was sent to Imam Zaman at the Muslim Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway stated, “You worship the Devil Allah, who has brought death, destruction and hatred upon my country. You must now DIE!! DEATH TO ALL OF YOU!!!,” said CAIR communications director Afsheen Shamsi. The center also received several threatening phone calls around the time the letter was received.

“The FBI said because there were three similar letters, they believe that it is from the same person,” Shamsi said Thursday.

The names of the recipients in Paterson and Clifton were not available Thursday.

“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,” Shamsi said in a news release.

The FBI did not return a call for comment Thursday. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. called the threats “reprehensible” and added the letters were intended to instill fear in the Muslim community.

“I join my friends in the Muslim community as we call for the highest level of security for the victims of these dangerous messages,” he said in statement Thursday. “Together, we stand in unity against the perpetrators of such awful crimes.”


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