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MN Muslim advocacy group says it got a threatening email from a Trump supporter

"Get ready to have a war," it says.
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A Muslim civil rights group in Minnesota has called in the FBI after receiving a threatening email.

The Minnesota chapter of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a news release that a supporter of President Trump sent the email to its office and to the address of CAIR's southern California chapter on Thursday. The subject line read: "Muslim sewer rats."

The rest of the email is full of obscenities and racial slurs, and warns there are "millions of patriots armed to the teeth" and that there's a leader in the White House who stands for "Judeo-Christian values."

"Get ready to have a war," the email concludes.

CAIR-MN's Executive Director Jaylani Hussein wants it to be investigated as a hate crime.

"This type of threat targeting American Muslims, their institutions and their leaders is becoming increasingly common. It should be investigated as a hate crime by law enforcement authorities and repudiated by state and national leaders," Hussein said in the release.

Hussein told the Star Tribune that it's not uncommon for CAIR-MN to receive hate mail, but this is the second email in seven months from the same sender.

“Now he’s threatening,” he told the paper.

Hate crimes: Up last year, but lower than earlier

CAIR-MN says there's been a higher prevalence of hate crimes targeting Muslims lately.

Since the election (Nov. 8, 2016), the group found a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide compared to the year before. During that same period, anti-Muslim hate crimes went up 44 percent.

The FBI defines hate crimes as an offense motivated (whether in whole or just in part) by a type of bias: either someone’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

Specifically anti-Islamic hate crimes have tracked upward in recent years, FBI figures showed. Hate crimes against Jewish people and members of the LGBTQ community also have risen.

Minnesota officials in their 2016 crime summary noted a rise in bias-motivated crimes. There were 122 reported last year, compared to 96 in 2015. That most recent figure though is lower than the total reported in 2013 (154) and and 2012 (175).

A federal report put out last week found there are about 250,000 total hate crimes reported every year. But more than half of the hate crime “victimizations” were not noted to law enforcement, the most common reason being that it was handled a different way.

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