US hate crime: Iowa mosque gets threatening note calling Muslims ‘vile’

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A leader of the Islamic Center of Des Moines plans to meet with authorities to discuss a threatening note found in the centre’s mail.

Dr Samir Shams, the president of the center, says he found the handwritten note Sunday morning. It said Muslims were a “vile” people and that President Donald Trump would “do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” The note was signed only “Americans for a Better Way.”

Shams says Muslims have to take such notes seriously and that he planned to meet yesterday with the FBI.

The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a news release calling for a hate crime investigation. The council says similar messages have been sent to other mosques in Iowa and elsewhere.

Anti-Islam note leaves community shaken

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When Dr. Samir Shams flipped through the mail at the Islamic Center of Des Moines on Sunday morning, he found something disturbing.

The Islamic Center of Des Moines president unfolded a threatening handwritten note calling Muslims “filthy” and “vile” people.

Police in San Jose, Calif., received reports of the same letter being sent to a mosque in November. Similar notes were reportedly sent to other mosques in California, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida that month.

The note was signed only “Americans for a Better Way” and appeared to be written by someone who claims to support President Donald Trump. The note made Holocaust references, saying Trump is “going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” It warned Muslims to “pack your bags and get out of Dodge.”

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MPs criticise Facebook’s failure to remove antisemitic and anti-Muslim pages

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Facebook were criticised by the Home Affairs select committee after the social media company had failed to remove anti-Muslim and antisemitic pages.

Yvette Cooper MP, chairwoman of the committee, added that the pages “The Truth About the Talmud” and “Ban Islam” do ‘have some deeply offensive and racist things on them’.

Simon Milner, Facebook’s Policy Director for the UK, Middle East, and Africa, countered that: “These pages, in and of themselves, do not violate, because we make it clear that you can criticise religions, but you cannot express hate against people because of their religion.” Mr Milner added that both pages were not ‘designed’ to attack Muslims and Jews.

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Thousands in London protest against Islamophobia, racism

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Thousands of people have taken to the streets in London to protest against rising sentiments of Islamophobia, racism and anti-refugee motions in the country.

Protesters gathered in London’s parliament square on Saturday as they were united against racism and Islamophobia and supportive of refugee and migrants.

They arrived at Portland Place in Central London at around midday while holding banners with slogans read, “Hands off EU workers”, “Refugees and migrants welcome here” and “Stand up to Trump.”

The rally was organized by the UK campaign group Stand Up to Racism, as part of a series of rallies taking place across Europe to mark the International Anti-Racism Day.

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Ranchlands graffiti being investigated as possible hate crime

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Police are investigating whether anti-Semitic messages and phrases targeting Islam painted on telephone poles and buildings in the community of Ranchlands meets the threshold of being a hate crime.

“In order for graffiti to cross the line into criminal hate speech, it has to be targeted towards an identifiable group, must be somewhere public and must be likely to lead to harm against those individuals,” Calgary police said in a statement.

Residents say graffiti isn’t new to the area, but the hateful messages are.

“There’s been the odd … kid graffiti kind of stuff, I don’t even know what it says but then this is a whole other thing,” said Glen Tinckler, who has lived in the area for the last 20 years.

“It’s just disheartening in this day and age there’s still people that feel this way and take to expressing it in such an unsightly manner.”

The graffiti was found near the Al-Salam centre — a multi-purpose building for the Muslim community.

Shima Safwat thinks the graffiti could be linked to an open house they’ve been planning for the last three months.

“What’s wrong, what did you see bad from Muslims here to start this kind of hate signs?” she asked. “We have been very open to everybody and we are, you know, offering our friendship to to everyone, so why?”

The open house is scheduled for Saturday.

Man indicted on hate crime charges for attacking Muslim worker at JFK Airport

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The Massachusetts man who allegedly assaulted and harassed a Muslim woman who works inside a lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport in January has been indicted on hate crimes charges, prosecutors announced.
Robin A. Rhodes, 57, of Worcester, MA, was indicted this week on four counts including third-degree assault, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and third-degree menacing — each charge as a hate crime — and a count of second-degree aggravated harassment, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Hurling slurs at the victim and, at one point claiming that President Donald Trump would “get rid of all of you,” Rhodes allegedly attacked the Delta Airlines employee as she worked in the Delta Sky Lounge in Terminal 2 between 7:10 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

“[Rhodes] is accused of physically and verbally attacking a woman for no apparent reason other than because of her religion,” Brown said in a statement on Thursday, March 16. “Crimes of hate will never be tolerated in Queens County, and when they do regrettably occur, those responsible will be brought to justice.”

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