Del. Aruna Miller (D-Germantown) on Wednesday said she alerted Montgomery County police to a hate letter that was allegedly left on a Muslim resident’s door.
Miller said a photo of the letter was sent to her by a Germantown constituent who said they had received the photo from a man in Maryland. Miller said the constituent didn’t want to reveal the man’s name or where the man lived because the man feared for his safety after someone posted the letter on his door.
The photo of the letter that Miller received appears to be the same as one that has circulated on the internet for the past week. It has “Donald Trump – Make America Great Again” letterhead, claims to come from the “Neighborhood Town Watch” and rails against an alleged hijab-wearing neighbor.
“We understand that you currently wear a scarf on your head, and we would like to put you on notice that this will no longer be tolerated in our neighborhood,” the letter says. Miller posted a copy of the letter on her Facebook page.
Screenshot via Facebook
However, the same letter that Miller posted to her Facebook page—with the same creases, indentation and thumb—was also featured in a Snopes.com post two days earlier. Snopes, which is known for debunking internet rumors, called the letter false after failing to find any information proving that it was circulated to Muslims in the United States.
Screenshot via Snopes.com
Miller said that after publishing her Facebook post she became aware of the letter being circulated around the internet and that it may be a hoax. However, Miller said she believes it was appropriate for her to report the letter to police and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General.
“Again, I think the individual is stating that it is a copy of that letter that was folded and put on an individual’s door,” Miller said, adding that she called the constituent after receiving the letter to confirm the details about where it was allegedly posted. “It’s up to law enforcement to decide whether this is a hoax. From what I’ve heard from [my constituent], it seemed legitimate to me.”
Miller said she received an email from an assistant chief at the department who said officers will investigate the issue. She said regardless of whether it’s legitimate, she feels that the election has emboldened people to express their anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views.
“We need to rise up and be vocal and share this information to make sure people are not being discriminated against,” Miller said.
Montgomery County police spokeswoman Rebecca Innocenti said she didn’t have any additional information about the alleged incident Wednesday afternoon.