After Muslims in the Pennsylvania area reported concerns over robo-calls that asked them to push one if they “identified as Muslim,” the calls have been revealed to be related to a legitimate post-election poll, a Muslim advocacy group announced Thursday.
The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) put out a warning after receiving multiple concerned calls from Muslim-Americans in recent days.
“Many of the people reporting these calls were quite upset and fearful at receiving them,” CAIR said in a statement on Thursday. “Given the current anti-Muslim climate in the country, CAIR decided the best course of action to protect the Muslim community was an ‘Action Alert’ warning people to hang up on these calls and not to press any keys.”
At the time, they urged anyone who received the calls to hang up the phone and report them to CAIR. Those concerns turned out to be unwarranted, as the robocalls were actually part of a legitimate survey by another Muslim organization.
“After further investigation overnight, our office discovered that these robocalls originated from another Muslim community organization called EmergeUSA,” CAIR said.
EmergeUSA said that the robocalls were scripted a month ago as part of a regular election-related poll. The question asking if people identified as Muslim was because Muslims were the target demographic of the poll.
“It was not anticipated that the poll would roll out at the same time as a so-called ‘Muslim Registry’ was being proposed by President-Elect Trump. We apologize for any confusion or concern this may have caused,” they said in a statement. “As soon as concerns were raised, the poll was suspended and the script was adjusted to make it clear that a Muslim organization was conducting the poll.”
Despite the mix-up, CAIR thanked those who called in with their concerns and urged others to report any concerns.
“Although there was no threat intended in the calls many of you received in the last few days, we still urge, especially in these times, caution and vigilance when responding to questions about one’s faith,” CAIR said.
Trump and his transition team have repeatedly denied any plans to implement a Muslim “registry,” and the New York Post called it an example of “fake news.” But on the campaign trail, Trump did call for a complete “shutdown” of Muslim immigration to the U.S.