Ann Arbor mosque gets hate-filled letter making rounds

Detroit News staff and wire reports, The Detroit News

Ann Arbor -- More mosques nationwide, including one in Ann Arbor, have reported receiving a hate-filled letter from California that warns Muslims to leave the country or face genocide.

The identical letters postmarked from the Los Angeles area have now shown up at mosques in Michigan, California, Ohio, Rhode Island, Indiana, Colorado and Georgia.

Dawud Walid, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter, said the letter arrived Wednesday at the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor and Vicinity. 

Walid said it received the letter Wednesday. It warns President-elect Donald Trump is “going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”

The handwritten note was postmarked in California and signed “Americans for a Better Way.”

It also said: “You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge. This is a great time for Patriotic Americans...”

Michigan has one of the nation’s largest Muslim populations.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked the FBI to investigate.

The FBI said the threats, while inflammatory and awful, do not pose a threat specific enough to investigate at this point, but they’re monitoring the situation and urged anyone to report such incidents.

Police in Providence, Rhode Island, said they would increase patrols after one of the letters was received at Masjid Al-Kareem.

Faissal Elansari of the Islamic Center of Rhode Island said he feels a wave of hate at his doorstep, WPRI-TV reported.

Envelopes have had a return address in the city the letter was sent, often 331 Oak St., but are postmarked in Los Angeles or Santa Clarita, a suburb about 30 miles north.

The name above the return address is Reza Khan, said Shehadeh Abdelkarim, president of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, which received one of the letters. He noted that’s a Muslim name.

“The person obviously knows a little about Muslim culture,” Abdelkarim said.

The name is bogus, said Sgt. Mike Abdeen of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which is assisting LAPD.

Trump’s representatives have not responded to a request for comment. The president-elect told “60 Minutes” that if his supporters were harassing others, they should “stop it.”