Letters Calling for ‘Punish A Muslim Day’ Cause Concern in UK

The letters, sent to at least six communities across United Kingdom, have prompted a national counter-terrorism investigation in the United Kingdom.


Leaflets and letters encouraging acts of violence on Muslims sent to people in at least six communities across the United Kingdom sent waves of alarm and prompted a national counter-terrorism investigation, the New York Times reported.

The letter declared that April 3 would be “Punish a Muslim Day” where points would be given for various acts of violence: 25 points for pulling off a woman’s headscarf, 50 points for an acid attack, 500 points for murdering a Muslim and 1,000 for bombing a mosque.

The letters also put down countries with migrant, minority and Muslim populations. It said: “Are you a sheep like the vast majority of the population? Sheep follow orders and are easily led. They are allowing the white-majority nations of Europe and North America to become overrun by those who would like nothing more than to do us harm and to turn our democracies into sharia-led police states.”

The leaflets, reported in West Yorkshire, Midlands, London, Cardiff, Leicester, Sheffield and Birmingham, carried an image of a dagger with the letters MS, indicating links to so-called Muslim Slayer which targeted mosques in London and the United States last year with similar threats, the Mirror reported.

Riaz Ahmed, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Bradford, West Yorkshire County, told the media that he received one of the letters at his business address. “It seems strange that anyone would send something like this to an address in a predominantly Muslim area,’’ Ahmed was quoted as saying by the Mirror. “When I opened it and saw the content, I was horrified.”

According to Tell Mama, an organization that monitors anti-Muslim activities, the letters have caused a lot of “fear within the community.” It released a statement, saying: “It is essential that all letters and envelopes are kept and handled minimally to preserve evidence for the police to investigate. Incidents like this are rare but we urge vigilance and calm as we remind Muslim communities that our confidential support service is available to assist in this matter.”

The organization said that some of the letters appear to have been mailed out of Sheffield, the NYT reported.

The Metropolitan Police spokesperson said they do not “tolerate hate crime,” and added: “Anyone believes they have been a victim of such an offence we would encourage them to report it to police so it can be fully investigated.”

Bradford West MP Naz Shah took to Twitter and Facebook, saying that the situation has become distressful not only for those who have received the letter but also for “wider communities.”

According to the 2011 census, Muslims make up slightly more than 4.4 percent of the population in the United Kingdom. As per Home Office statistics, 80,393 hate crime offenses were recorded in 2016-17, as compared to 62,518 in 2015-16. This increase, at 29 percent, was the largest since the Home Office began recording hate crime figures in 2011-12.

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