Exchange New Mosque
Nihat Rahic,of West Des Moines, and Emir Huskanovic, of Bosnia, right, stand in front of the new Islamic Education Center in Des Moines, Iowa on Sept. 18, 2008. Lisa Fernandez—AP

Hate-Filled Note Against Muslims Stokes Fear at Des Moines Mosque

Mar 20, 2017

Muslim groups in Iowa are asking authorities to investigate a hate-filled message that was left at a Des Moines mosque.

Local media outlets in Iowa have reported that the handwritten letter was dropped off at the Islamic Center of Des Moines. In it, Muslims were called "vile" and "filthy" and addressed as "Children of Satan." The author also wrote that President Trump is "going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews," according to a report by Iowa's KCCI. The author remains anonymous; the letter is signed "Americans for a Better Way."

The Islamic Center's spokesman Esam Boraey told the news organization the Muslim community is "circled and surrounded, and centered around the fear and our safety.” In an interview with USA Today, a member of the mosque's board said the community is taking the note seriously.

"In this climate, we have to take these things seriously because it could escalate," said Jamal Muhammad

The Executive Director of Iowa's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for an investigation in a statement released Sunday. "We call on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this message of intimidation targeting a house of worship as a hate crime and to bring the perpetrator to justice," said Miriam Amer.

Hateful attacks against Muslims have been on the rise, according to data from the FBI and Muslim and civil rights organizations have linked rise in attacks to the rhetoric of President Trump who called for the a "complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering the country early in the campaign. He later walked that statement back, but many have interpreted his executive order temporarily banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries as a Muslim ban.

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