Pakistani-origin Democrat leader threatened with anti-Muslim emails

Faisal Gill, Chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, received three threatening emails within a seven-day period in May.

Published: 09th July 2017 03:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2017 03:30 PM   |  A+A-

This April 5, 2017 photo shows Faisal Gill, newly elected chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, in the party's office in Montpelier, Vt. Gill is a Pakistani-born lawyer believed to the be first Muslim to lead a state party in the U.S. (Photo: Lisa Rat


NEW YORK: A Pakistani-origin leader of the Democratic Party in Vermont in the US has been threatened with a series of anti-Muslim emails asking him to "get out" of the state, media reports said.

Faisal Gill, who took over as the Chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party in March and believed to be the first Muslim leader of a state political party in the US, received three threatening emails within a seven-day period in May.

Christopher Hayden, 48, of Burlington in Vermont was arraigned in June on a charge of disturbing the peace by electronic means with a hate-crime enhancement, Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George was quoted as saying by the Burlington Free Press.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of two years and three months, George said.

Hayden pleaded not guilty and was released on conditions, George said.

The case was first reported Friday by Vermont Public Radio.

Gill, 45, received one anti-Muslim email on May 24 from an account in Hayes' name, and two additional messages May 31, the report said.

The final two emails used racial and ethnic slurs. The writer told Gill that it was his "last chance" to "get out of my Green Mountains."

"Get out or we will make you wish you did," in a separate email, the writer told Gill.

Gill, who had never met Hayden, said he was deeply disturbed and alerted Burlington police.

"I do hope that he gets a sentence that makes him realise that he cannot do these kind of things anymore," Gill said in an interview.

George, the prosecutor, believes the threats were based entirely on Gill's religion.

"Any time that an individual is targeted and threatened based on their nationality, religion or ethnicity, I find it extremely concerning and a threat to the integrity of our entire country," George said.

In late 2015, Hayden denied a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police said he had threatened to kill a man while using racial slurs on Burlington's Church Street Marketplace. George confirmed that the case involved the same man.

Hate crimes are on a chilling upward trajectory in the US, particularly since the presidential election.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp