Last week, a well-known Turkish mosque in Brighton Beach received a death threat letter signed by “Muslim Slayer” in what could be a national hate crime campaign.
The letter was hand-delivered by the mail carrier to Imam Ibrahim Yavas of the American Turkish Eyup Sultan Cultural Center on Brighton 3rd Street last Tuesday, officials said.
“I have a dirty little secret,” the letter said. “I fantasize about killing nonwhites. It really turns me on and I’m afraid you are on my list.” Four other Mosques near Atlanta have also received similar letters in the past few weeks, reports Mic.
The Brooklyn “Muslim Slayer” letter also apparently traveled a far distance to reach the shores of Brighton Beach, as it bears a postage stamp from the United Kingdom, Kenan Taskent told BKLYNER.
Taskent is a member who helped build the mosque and a 40-year Brooklyn resident. Mosque officials didn’t contact the media because they didn’t want to alarm anyone or inspire copycat offenders, he said.
The letter came in two parts, he said. The first was an 8 x 11 sheet of paper filled with printed “x” marks. And folded inside, the Imam found a Post-It sized note with the threat scrawled in loose handwriting.
This incident comes during a week where a rash of hate-speech incidents at religious centers has many Brooklynites on edge. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the case, and Taskent places his full trust in the officers — many of whom have reached out to the mosque directly to offer support.
When BKLYNER visited the mosque on Friday afternoon, the doors were open. There is an NYPD Mounted Unit building right across the street from the four-story mosque.
“This is not going to scare us,” Taskent said, speaking about the resiliency of religious communities everywhere. “United we have to stand against racism and bigotry. That’s what we believe.”
This is the first ever threat delivered to the mosque — aside from a misleading NY Daily News article in 2015 which falsely correlated the center to ISIS via a photo mash-up, which was quickly and publicly denounced by Boro President Eric Adams.
But Taskent doesn’t believe that the threat has a direct connection to the election of Donald Trump. “Give the guy time,” he said. “If he’s still a bigot and racist in a year or two I might be in the front of the protest line.”
But not everyone denies the connection between the spike in hate crimes and the President’s underlying attitude toward Muslims. Another Turkish resident of Brooklyn told us that although he’s a green card holder, he is afraid to leave the country in the aftermath of Trump’s sudden executive order. “I can’t imagine what [Trump] will do next. I am a legal, peaceful citizen but I don’t feel very safe.”