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California mosques receive letters threatening Muslims, praising Trump

Anonymous letters have been sent to three mosques in California, praising US President-elect Donald Trump and threatening Muslim genocide. Civil rights groups have called for increased police protection.

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Anonymous letters have been sent to three mosques in California praising US President-elect Donald Trump and warning of a genocide against Muslims, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Sunday.

The letters, addressed to "the children of Satan" and signed by an "American for a Better Way," were sent to the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont and the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, according to the "Los Angeles Times."

"There's a new sheriff in town - President Donald Trump. He's going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And he's going to start with you Muslims. And he's going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews," the letter said, according to CAIR. The letters were photocopied and postmarked as being sent from Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles.

'Hate campaign'

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of CAIR, said worshippers at the mosques were disheartened by the letter.

"This hate campaign targeting California houses of worship must be investigated as an act of religious intimidation, and our state's leaders should speak out against the growing anti-Muslim bigotry that leads to such incidents," said Ayloush, calling for more police protection at mosques.

Sergeant Enrique Garcia, spokesman for the San Jose Police Department, said police have started an investigation and are treating the letter as a "hate-motivated incident."

Since Trump was elected on November 8, more than 100 anti-Muslim incidents have occurred in the US, according to CAIR. Trump spoke out against Muslims during his successful campaign, proposing a ban on Muslims from entering the US as one of his campaign promises. He has since distanced himself from that pledge.

kbd/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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