CAIR asks DOJ to probe threat, powder sent to Iowa Muslim lawmaker

The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-IA) today called on the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate a letter with “very threatening” language and containing a mysterious powder that was sent to a Muslim representative in the Iowa House yesterday.

The letter, sent to Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad Des Moines), was opened by his clerk Tuesday afternoon on the House floor. When a white powder “billowed out” from the envelope, a hazardous materials team was called and the Statehouse was locked down for several hours. The powder was ultimately deemed harmless.

Abdul-Samad is a member of CAIR-IA’s board of directors.

“We urge the Department of Justice to review this case and to determine whether a federal civil rights investigation is warranted,” said CAIR-IA Executive Director Miriam Amer.

Amer said the nature of the threat contained in the letter has not been made public. She noted that Iowa is one of dozens of states that have introduced legislation targeting Islamic principles, or Sharia.

CAIR press release, 4 April 2012