Threats to Midstate Muslims on the Rise

October 1, 2006

Source: The Patriot-News

On October 1, 2006 The Patriot-News reported, "The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission says it knows of 'at least seven' threatening letters and e-mails sent to Muslims in the York and Harrisburg areas in the past two months.

The most recent came to Abul Hasan of Springettsbury Twp., a Penn State York physics professor active in the Council of American Islamic Relations.

The anonymous, handwritten letter he received last week called Islam an 'evil, violent cult' that 'must be wiped from the face of the earth.' The letter closed by saying, 'It would be a good idea to reactivate those ovens at Auschwitz.'

Hasan said the commission referred him to the township police, who told him they would try to extract fingerprints from the letter.

Hasan surmised that the writer had seen an opinion piece by him that was published in the York Daily Record, in which he asserted that Islam does not advocate conversion by force.

Hasan was responding to remarks by Pope Benedict XVI, who, in discussing the incompatibility of religion and violence before a German university audience, quoted a 14-century Byzantine emperor decrying the Prophet Muhammad's 'command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"