As many of you may know, the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland received hate mail. This is a place of worship for many of our Muslim friends and neighbors, some of whom live, work, and go to school here in Winchester. While this act was reported in the Boston Globe on 12/4, that article included only excerpts from the actual letter sent. We at the Multicultural Network think it is important to raise awareness about the entire content of the letter, sent to mosques in at least six states around the country.
“To the Children of Satan,
You muslims are a vile and filthy people. Your mothers are whores and your fathers are dogs. You are evil. You worship the devil. But your day of reckoning has arrived. 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. He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the jews. You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge. This is a great time for Patriotic Americans. Long live President Trump and God bless the USA. —Americans for a Better Way”
We know how difficult it is to read this letter; we also believe it is important to be informed allies. The fact that the letter writer twice refers to the incoming president is extremely upsetting and frightening.
We know that approximately one in three Winchester voters cast a vote for Donald Trump. We believe that the vast majority of these voters did so in spite of his inflammatory rhetoric and threats, not because of them. We ask all Winchester citizens, including those who supported Mr. Trump for other reasons, to stand up against this kind of hate, and demand that Mr. Trump do the same.
There are many ways to stand up personally, including reaching out and offering support to targeted friends and/or local organizations. You can communicate your views by writing letters or signing ones like the ACLU letter to the President Elect (https://action.aclu.org/secure/denouncehate). To learn more about what you can do, contact the Network at 781-729-7100 or wmcn.org. .
The following suggestions for how to offer support have been provided by the Board of the Islamic Center of Boston (ICB):
1) A supportive card or email is always welcome. You can email info@icbwayland or send a card to 126 Boston Post Road, Wayland, MA 01778.
2) Contact Governor Baker (http://www.mass.gov/governor/constituent-services/contact-governor-office/), Attorney General Maura Healy (email@example.com), and your local Senators and Congress, asking them for support to combat Islamophobia and all hate-based attacks on any of our minority communities as a result of the recent presidential election. In addition please fight against any effort that leads to creating a Muslim registry since it leaves many of our American Muslim brethren in a high state of concern.
3) Send an email to Chief Robert Irving (Chief@waylandpolice.com) the Wayland Chief of Police, thanking them for their support of the Wayland faith-based communities and particularly protecting and supporting ICB Wayland in this turbulent time.
4) If you want to make a donation to the ICB in Wayland, you can do so via our Paypal account at http://www.icbwayland.org/donations.html.
5) You are welcome to visit the ICB. This can be a great way of bonding. Please feel free to schedule a visit via our outreach site http://www.icbwayland.org/outreach/index.html.
6) We welcome you to be part of our icbwayland general email group. Ask to join by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“An ugly idea left unchallenged begins to turn the color of normal.”- Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Let us challenge; let us refuse to normalize hate.