PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The oldest official Muslim organization in Oregon has been receiving threats in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.
It’s one of several threats the Council on American-Islamic Relations has been tracking across the country since the war began.
The people who volunteer at the Islamic Society of Greater Portland say this neighborhood in Beaverton will always be their home, no matter what the threats are.
They’re calling for people to promote understanding in the face of hatred.
“It’s been an amazing flood of incoming concerns,” said Corey Saylor, the research and advocacy director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “People wait for this moment. And then when it happens, this kind of anti-Muslim bias is just sitting in society comes fully to the surface.”
A death threat was made against the Islamic Society of Greater Portland. A volunteer says students who attend the mosque say they have been bullied as well.
“It makes people afraid to engage in free speech and makes people afraid for their safety. And it makes people afraid to engage in the political life that should be the bedrock of the United States where we present different opinions,” Saylor said. “I want to be very clear, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, ethnic hate, whether you’re targeting Arabs, all of that stuff, is unacceptable.
In a statement, the ISGP says they are saddened and concerned about the threats and that they “urge everyone to promote understanding and peace during these challenging times and to remember that violence and hatred solve nothing.”
A member of the organization told KOIN 6 that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has been adding patrols around times when people would come to the society’s headquarters. Additionally, the FBI released a statement about the recent threats.
“The FBI is increasing our engagement with our religious and community partners and we want to make sure the communities are part of the solution so we don’t let something tragic happen in our own backyard.”
The Secure Community Network, an organization that advocates for the safety of the Jewish community, has tracked anti-Semitic threats over the past two weeks. They say it’s something the Jewish community deals with year-round. But they also said they are fortunate they have not tracked an increase in the two weeks since the war between Hamas and Israel began.