WASHINGTON – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said today that its Washington, D.C., headquarters has received a racist, Islamophobic letter sent from Michigan portraying former President Obama as a monkey and containing a page from an English translation of the Quran smeared with a “foreign substance” that is assumed to be feces.
SEE: Photos of Letter
The letter, which had an apparently fake return address, will be turned over to law enforcement authorities.
“This is just a sample of the hate targeting American Muslims and other minority groups in the wake of the presidential election,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “These bigoted acts will never stop us from defending the civil rights and religious freedom of all Americans.”
CAIR recently called for hate crime investigations of bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims in Wisconsin and Texas, part of “almost daily” attacks on American Muslims and other minority groups nationwide in recent months.
The Washington-based civil rights organization also decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of trend that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
CAIR: This Map Shows How Many Mosques Have Been Targeted Just This Year (CNN)
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html