In one of the most disturbing post-election Islamophobic harassment incidents yet, three different mosques in California received photocopies of a letter warning them that President-elect Donald Trump is going to “cleanse” America of “vile, filthy, and evil” Muslims. Islamic centers in Long Beach, Claremont and San Jose all have had to ask for police protection against the murderous sentiments expressed in the missives:
To the children of Satan, You Muslims are a vile and filthy people. Your mothers are whores and your fathers are dogs. You are evil. You worship the devil. But your day of reckoning has arrived.
There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s 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. You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge.
This is a great time for patriotic Americans. Love live President Trump and God bless the USA.
Signed “Americans For A Better Way,” the letter has prompted local religious leaders
In case anybody needs reminding, Adolf Hitler and the German Nazi Party orchestrated the genocide of almost six million European Jews and another five million Roma, Communists, Slavs, homosexuals, and others deemed “undesirable” by the fascists in their obsession with racial purity.
Islamophobic attacks and harassment have skyrocketed since the election. The Southern Poverty Law Center has logged 701 reported attacks in the past two weeks: anti-immigrant (206), anti-Black (151), anti-LGBT (80), swastika vandalism (60), anti-Muslim (51), and anti-woman (36). There are certainly hundreds more that have gone unreported.
The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) stated that “This 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.”
Donald Trump has doubled down on his calls for a registry of Muslims, supported by his appointed team of Islamophobes like Stephen Bannon, Reince Preibus, and General Flynn (who once called Islam a “cancer”). During the election campaign, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States and made painting all Muslims as “terrorists” a major theme of his campaign.
This kind of Islamophobic harassment is beyond reprehensible. Donald Trump has made only a cursory effort to dissuade his followers from targeting innocents across the United States, and hate crimes will only continue to grow unless we take a stand. We must become our own watchdogs and guardians; if you see a hate crime being committed, it is your duty as an American to intervene. It is your duty to go above and beyond and let the people in your community know that they are all welcome in the United States, no matter what religion, race, or sexuality they might be. I fervently believe this kind of hate does not represent the American people. Let’s prove to the world that it isn’t.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.