Muslim man running for office targeted by letters of hate in Shrewsbury

SHREWSBURY, MA (WHDH) - Police in Shrewsbury are investigating letters of hate left behind in residents’ mailboxes that targeted a Muslim man running for the board of selectmen.

Rashid Shaikh, a native of Pakistan, has lived in Shrewsbury for the past 20 years. The night before the May 2 election, some residents said they found a letter in their mailboxes telling them not to vote for Shaikh.

Part of the letter read, “Go to youtube and type in ‘Muslim demographics’ or ‘Muslim Europe’ and you will see a very disturbing reality. Say no to Muslim politicians.”

“It was very heartbreaking,” said Shaikh. “I couldn’t believe that somebody could write something like that. Full of hate and lies.”

The letter even attacked Shaikh’s family, claiming his eldest son is “against Christianity or any other non-Muslim religions.” Shaikh said reading attacks on his family made him feel like crying.

Despite the letter, Shaikh said he feels welcome in Shrewsbury. He only reported the letter to police after it was spread around on social media.

“I want the whole Shrewsbury to know that I love this town. This is my home. We love this town. And this town loves us,” said Shaikh.

Town Manager Dan Morgado said officials have no way of knowing if the letter came from someone in town. He added that it does not represent the people in Shrewsbury.

“You just can’t have that. It’s unacceptable, it shouldn’t be tolerated, it shouldn’t be repeated,” said Morgado.

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