Threats against Muslims grow in New Jersey, nationwide
As controversy continues to swirl around Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, examples of anti-Muslim sentiment are showing up in New Jersey and around the area.
In Jersey City, the Al-Tawheed Islamic Center received a letter warning "we do not want you here. You are evil," according to CBS New York, along with a voice mail message warning "every American that has the Second Amendment right is going to take their (expletive) gun out and blow you away. I just want you to be prepared for that."
"Local hate letters are a byproduct of the sad state of hate in the national debate. We're one great community together." tweeted Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Jersey City Police have increased their patrols of Jersey City mosques. The Islamic Society of South Brunswick said police have done the same thing for the facility on Route 1.
Newark Deputy Mayor Rahaman Muhammad relayed a story on his Facebook page about his Muslim mother's fears that she could be hurt by the comments made by Trump, who he calls "this Clown, the Front Runner of the Republican Party."
He wrote that he thought Trump "was funny at first" but is now calling for "the adults in the room" to take control of the GOP presidential race.
"It's time for the Donald J. Trump Clown Show to End," wrote the deputy mayor.
There have been similar anti-Muslim threats made around the United States for the past month since the shooting massacre in Paris left 130 dead, and threats got worse after the San Bernardino shooting and Trump's comments. The Anti-Defamation League says it has tracked more than three dozen anti-Muslim incidents since the Paris attacks.
A severed pig's head was left outside a Philadelphia mosque earlier on Tuesday. Mayor Michael Nutter pledged a $2,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in any hate crime case.
Democrat Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana, one of two Muslim members of Congress, received threats at his Washington office.
"I just received a death threat yesterday in my own office, and it’s largely in part to this toxic environment,” Carson told USA Today.
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security said it is watching for increased threats to the Muslim community and encourage everyone to report threats or suspicious activity to 866-SAFE NJ (866-472-3365).
The Associated Press contributed to this report