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Letter to R.I. mosque declares Trump will target Muslims

The Massachusetts chapter of a Muslim civil rights organization asked Wednesday for stepped-up police protection at area mosques after an Islamic center in Providence received a letter calling Muslims “vile and filthy people” and declaring that President-elect Donald Trump would “do to you . . . what Hitler did to the Jews.”

The letter, which arrived at the Masjid Al-Kareem Islamic Center this week, was signed “Americans for a Better Way.” At least five mosques in California have received the same letter since last week, as have Muslim communities in Savannah, Ga., and Miami.

“This hate campaign targeting a New England house of worship must be investigated by state and federal law enforcement authorities, and our state’s leaders should speak out against the growing anti-Muslim bigotry that inevitably leads to such incidents,” John Robbins, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Massachusetts, said in a statement.


The letter, addressed to “Children of Satan” and written in uneven print handwriting, warns Muslims their “day of reckoning” has arrived.

“There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump,” it says. “He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims.”

It concludes: “This is a great time for patriotic Americans. Long live President Trump and God bless the USA.”

A profile of the Masjid Al-Kareem center published by the Harvard Pluralism Project a decade ago describes a small but growing mosque — Rhode Island’s first — whose founding members began meeting at the University of Rhode Island in the 1960s and 1970s. The community includes immigrants and Americans from South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, the profile said.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that California authorities said they are working to find the sender to prevent any violence. An FBI spokeswoman in Boston said the office could not comment.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ national office recorded more than 100 anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in the 10 days following the Nov. 8 election.

During the same time period, there have been more than 700 incidents targeting other minority groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization.

Lisa Wangsness of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.