The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on mosques around the nation to alert law enforcement if they receive threatening phone calls from a right-wing extremist who has reportedly threatened to attack a Georgia mosque.
An unidentified man has called an Augusta-area mosque from a Missouri phone number at least eight times since June 22, leaving more than 20 minutes of voicemail messages threatening to shoot, bomb and otherwise attack mosques and attack Muslims in America.
"This is what hate sounds like," said CAIR-Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. "Death threats are nothing new to our community, but these messages may represent the worst hate speech levied against a Georgia mosque since the (2016 Presidential) election."
The suspect never mentions Georgia or the name of the specific mosque receiving the messages. The mosque, which has previously faced anti-Muslim bigotry, has decided to remain anonymous in order to protect itself from potential copycat attacks and attackers.
Among the remarks and insults on the call, the caller says:
- "We are actually gonna come to your mosques and f****** blow the heads off of the people that are in your mosques and f****** kill you and shoot everybody in your mosques as a mass slaughter. So either way, you sand n****** are going to get out of my country -- just so you know. And if you think I'm joking, it's going to happen. In fact, I know where you live at."
- "The white people of America are going to kill you out of this country."
- "Now that President Trump is president, I'm going to report your number to the White House and he's going to do something about this. It's not going to be overnight, but I'm telling you. We're going get rid of you one way or another."
- "The United States was founded on Christian religion. That's the reason why our American dollar says, 'In God We Trust.' It doesn't say, 'In Allah We Trust.'"
The caller's phone number begins with an area code from the St. Louis area. CAIR-Georgia is not releasing any additional information about the call or the caller in order to protect the integrity of any ongoing federal investigation.
"If a Muslim extremist spent weeks threatening to attack a church, he would quickly and rightfully find himself in a federal penitentiary," Mitchell said. "We hope law enforcement will arrest this man before he acts upon his pledge to attack American Muslims."
11Alive reached out to the FBI, but they are not commenting about the complaints except to say that it "takes seriously any threats directed toward religious institutions and we ask that when those threats occur, that they be promptly reported to the law enforcement and the FBI."
Meanwhile, Mitchell said CAIR-Georgia is hopeful that law enforcement will make an arrest and "prosecute him to the full extent of the law."
CAIR-Georgia has held self-defense seminars at three different Georgia mosques in recent weeks and encourages more houses of worship across the state to host the free seminars, which cover personal, home and mosque security tips.
Mitchell said if any other houses of worship receive similar threats, they should immediately alert law enforcement, as well as their local chapter of CAIR