On November 28th, law enforcement officers and leaders of the Muslim community met to take a stand against anti-Muslim letters that have been received by mosques in the southern and northern California area. The meeting was held so that anybody who had any “fears” regarding Islam could come join the leaders at the mosque to discuss them.
In a recent letter to the FBI, The Council on American Islamic Relations stated that there have been five mosques in California and one in Georgia that have received written threats promising genocide to those practicing Islam in the United States.
According to CAIR, the letters talk about how President- elect Trump is “going to cleanse America and make it shine again,” and that it would be in their best interest to “pack your bags and get out of dodge.”
LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing stated that the LAPD is investigating who sent the two threatening letters that were delivered to mosques in Los Angeles. Downing says that the letters sent to the mosques in Los Angeles can’t be investigated as a hate crime because the letters didn’t show “intent and capability.”
“But in these types of cases, it’s important for us to learn who sent them,” Downing told reporters. “And are there other crimes that he or she committed. And if not, maybe it’s an opportunity for us to provide education, inspiration, maybe even – if there’s consent – an intervention.”
Downing hopes that Monday’s meeting will act as a form of dialogue with American Muslims.
Muslim leader Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini reinforced the importance for communication among the community.
“We invite them and let’s sit and talk,” al-Qazwini said. “We are Americans! This is our country, this is our future. This is the land of our children. And we have a moral duty to protect America, as I said, not just against hate crime, but against terrorism, too.”
When talking about the letters, Imam al-Qazwini said, “We may hate the act but we don’t hate the person.”