Police in Massachusetts Investigating Letter Urging Voters Not to Vote for Muslim Candidate

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 Police in Shrewsbury, Mass., are investigating a letter sent to some residents urging them not to vote for a Muslim candidate for the town's governing board.

Pakistani American Rashid Shaikh claims he was the intended target of the letter, according to a Worcester Telegram & Gazette report.

The letter was found in several mailboxes a day prior to the Shrewsbury board of selectmen election May 2 — an election during which Shaikh failed to win one of the two vacant seats. Shaikh, a naturalized citizen, was re-elected as a town meeting member, a post he has held since 2008.

The anonymous letter stressed to the residents that the community doesn’t want any Muslim person ruling it, adding, “Say no to Muslim politicians.”

Shaikh has been part of the community for 20 years and is married with three children, according to the report.

The Pakistani American said that the letter has lies about his personal life that he found hurtful, it said.

He discovered the letter while on a Facebook page local residents use to talk about personal and town issues.

The letter had a strong effect on his family, who were very upset with its contents. Additionally, his youngest son, a seventh grader, stayed home from school the day of the election because of it, the report said.


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“It was very, very hurtful. Honestly, it made me cry that people could go that low,” Shaikh said in the report. “Absolutely every single thing in it is a lie.”

Among the claims the letter made was that Shaikh’s oldest son is studying for free at UMass Amherst “even though his father ... has been making six-figure salaries and/or profit the last several years,” the report said.

Shaikh said he is paying for his son’s full tuition and board, it added.

The writer also claimed Shaikh was seeking the seat to manipulate the town’s bylaws and building department for his own financial benefit, according to the report.

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