MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was their typical afternoon prayer service at the Islamic Center of Greater Miami but the conversation that followed was far from what they practice.
They spoke out about the nasty emails sent to the Miami Gardens mosque over the weekend.
“It was a threatening email about burning the Koran, I will kill all Muslims and you should go back you do not belong here,” said Abdul Rashid, a mosque member.
The Miami Gardens mosque however is not the only South Florida religious institution targeted by hate crimes.
In Palm Beach County the Islamic Center was vandalized, windows were broken and the building was damaged.
An arrest was made in that case but today the President of the Islamic center spoke out, calling for an open dialogue and invited the community to their place of worship to ask questions and see what the Muslim religion, culture and people are really about.
“People have to be judged by the truth. So when you do that when you come and you look at the text and speak to Muslims who represent Islam at your local mosque,” said Sarif Elhusseing, the president of the center.
Security at Nur Ul Islam Academy in Cooper City was stepped up after a despicable message greeted people arriving at the academy Monday morning, an expletive followed by the word Muslims.
Not too far from there in the community of Monterra several Jewish residents received anti-Semitic notes in their mailboxes.
David Barkey with ADL believes this rash of hate crimes could be politically motivated.
“We have highly charged political environment from folks running for the highest office in the land and that combined it’s not unexpected to see incidents like that,” said Barkey.
At the mosque in Miami Gardens they have an open door policy and although they are taking the emails very seriously, they say they will not let fear get in the way of them praying and worshiping there.
All the incidents have been reported to law enforcement. The Broward Sheriff’s Office and FBI are investigating.