Wayland mosque receives hate letter invoking Donald Trump
The Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland is the latest Muslim institution to receive a hate-spewing letter that has been sent to other mosques and Islamic institutions across the nation, including one in Providence.
Wayland Police Lieutenant Patrick Swanick said detectives are investigating after leaders of the mosque notified police Thursday night about the letter, which appears to be a scanned copy of a handwritten note sent to other mosques.
“We have a very nice relationship with them,’’ Swanick said of the mosque. “They are good people.’’
The letter calls Muslims “vile and filthy people” who face a “day of reckoning . . . there’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump.’’
The president-elect, it says, will “do to you . . . what Hitler did to the Jews.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on law enforcement to step up protection of mosques across the country, especially those that have received the letter. Swanick said police “keep an extra eye on the property’’ when reports of hate crimes against Muslims increase.
“They’ve been very responsive, and the FBI appears to be taking this seriously,” said John Robbins, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Until the arrival of the letter, Swanick said the mosque and its members had not been targeted by hate crimes or violence in recent years.
In an e-mail sent to Wayland police and media outlets, the president of the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland wrote that the letter was postmarked from Santa Clara, Calif., with a return address in Boston and the name “Reza Khan.’’
The same letter has been sent to mosques or Islamic institutions in Rhode Island, Michigan, California, Ohio, Indiana, Colorado, Florida, and Georgia, according to media accounts.
Robbins said the anxiety generated by the letters has been heightened because Trump has floated ideas such as a Muslim registry and enhanced monitoring of immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s civil rights investigators are aware of the letter and are reaching out to the mosque’s leaders for more information.
Lisa Wangsness of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.