The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-IA) 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.
CAIR PR The letter, sent to Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (D-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.
Des Moines Fire Department spokesman Brian O’Keefe told KCCI-TV that the powder was calcium carbonate, a common antacid used to treat indigestion.
The powder prompted a four-hour lockdown of the Statehouse.
“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 legal brutality, or Sharia.