November 28, 2016
James B. Comey Director Federal Bureau of Investigation 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
RE: Investigation of Threat Letters Sent to Mosques Nationwide
Dear Director Comey:
As the leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, I write to request a formal FBI investigation into a campaign of threatening letters targeting mosques nationwide.
CAIR chapters in California and Georgia report that letters threating genocide targeting American Muslims have been sent to at least six mosques in those states.
The hand-written letters describe Muslims as “Children of Satanâ€ and a “vile and filthy people.” The letters also warn Muslims to “pack your bags and get out of dodge” because President-elect Donald Trump is “going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he's going to start with you Muslims. He's going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.â€ The letters conclude, “This is a great time for patriotic Americans. Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A.”
Mosques that have reported to CAIR that they have received the letters include:
â€¢ Granada Hills MasjidÂ
â€¢ Islamic Center of Northridge
â€¢ Islamic Center of Claremont
â€¢ Evergreen Islamic CenterÂ
â€¢ Islamic Center of Long Beach
â€¢ Islamic Center of Savannah
Our offices are currently in contact with leaders of other mosques nationwide to find out if they have also received the same letter. In the past, many similar hate incidents have gone unreported.
As you know, it is a federal crime to threaten or intimidate people because of their religion in order to interfere with their exercise of federally-guaranteed rights.
You are also likely aware that there has been an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in recent months and that the rise in anti-Muslim incidents accelerated following the November 8 presidential election. In addition, data collected by your own agency indicate that Anti-Muslim incidents jumped 67 percent in 2015.
I therefore respectfully request that the FBI investigate these letters as a violation of federal law and take appropriate action in response. We believe that only a vigorous investigation of this matter will reassure Muslim Americans that the civil rights and liberties of all Americans will be protected in the face of violent threats against their free exercise of religion.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this critical matter.
Nihad Awad National Executive DirectorÂ Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)