A Muslim woman running for mayor in Rochester said someone left a crude anti-Muslim comment on her personal webpage Sunday night.
Regina Mustafa, who is among several people hoping to replace outgoing Mayor Ardell Brede, said the anonymous threat was made by someone posting as "Militia Movement," and the comment said "EXECUTE all muslims in America."
"I have no way of knowing if the person is nearby or across the country," said Mustafa. "These threats do have to be taken seriously."
Mustafa said the threat was left on a Google Plus posting she made last summer that includes a photo of her speaking at Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester. She reported it to the Rochester Police Department.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also asked law enforcement to investigate, saying American Muslims have been subject to an "unprecedented spike in hate incidents" since the election of President Donald Trump. The FBI's most recent bias crime report showed an increase in such crimes nationwide in 2016.
Mustafa, who wears a hijab, said she mostly feels welcome in Rochester, despite occasional confrontations with strangers. She's had people shout at her from passing cars, and a man walked up to her at a Caribou Coffee last year while she sat with her grade-school-aged children and told her to "go home," she said.
Mustafa said she was also subjected to threats after announcing a bid for Congress last fall.
A Michigan man who made an online death threat against her was later identified by the FBI and Mustafa has asked that criminal charges be filed against him. Mustafa, who is legally blind, said she dropped out of the congressional race two months later due in part to the difficulty of traveling throughout the district to campaign.