UK Muslims stand together offering support and advice after vile #PunishAMuslimDay attempt

UK Muslims stand together offering support and advice after vile #PunishAMuslimDay attempt
While some Muslims have brushed it off as a mere joke, others awoke on 'Punish a Muslim Day' on Tuesday with genuine fears, calling on fellow Muslims to remain vigilant.

5 min read
03 Apr, 2018
The letter was distributed across the UK [Twitter]
For years, April 3 has been a mundane day in the calendar. But this year, millions of Muslims woke up with mixed feelings of concern, fear and indifference, as Islamophobes and racists attempted to mark it as “Punish a Muslim Day”.

It came after a vile letter was sent to Muslims across the UK, detailing a point system for different ways to hurt Muslims, including throwing acid, ripping the hijab off a woman and "butchering" using "gun, knife, vehicle or otherwise" to score points accordingly. Blowing up a Mosque was also on the points system, scoring 1,000 points.

"They have hurt you, they have made your loved ones suffer. They have caused you pain and heartache. What are you going to do about it?”, the letter read.

"Only you can help turn this thing around, only you have the power. Do not be a sheep!”, it added.

The letters were found in cities across the country, including Bradford, London and Sheffield.

Concern: While some Muslims brushed it off as a mere joke, others awoke on Tuesday with genuine fears, calling on fellow Muslims to remain on high alert.

"Didn't think I'd get anxious about #PunishAMuslimDay but I currently am. Thinking of all Muslims, especially visibly Muslim women, across the UK who don't have the privilege of staying at home to avoid getting horribly attacked. Please be vigilant."

"Everyone I know is worried about tomorrow. Muslim women in particular, our mothers and grandmothers, our neighbours and friends, our colleagues and acquaintances. #PunishAMuslimDay"

"My little sister has just melted my heart as she woke up this morning and said “we have to hide today”. This made me so sad as it’s 2018 and kids as young as 7 are growing up in fear. I told my little sister, “no, we have no reason to hide it’s our home” #PunishAMuslimDay"

"Sad state of affairs when I am getting messages from family and friends saying they are going to change their plans to avoid going out in public places due this idiotic #PunishAMuslimDay , I will be more vigilant but am keen to go out and carry on as normal"

Action: Others have mobilised to take a more proactive approach, calling on others to intervene in the case of an incident, and even advising women to replace their hijab with a beanie hat to become less visible.

"I’ll repeat this til I go blue in the face... where is the reassurance from my Government regarding this disgusting #PunishAMuslimDay letter that was sent to Muslim households across the country and even Muslim MPs in Parliament?"

"If you witness (non physical) islamophobic harassment today (or any day), this guide by @itsmaeril could come in handy #PunishAMuslimDay"

"Guys, I know how Londoners can be very non-interventionist when someone is being attacked, but if you see any loony harassing someone due to this "#PunishAMuslimDay" nonsense, please do not just stand and watch OK?"

"If anyone around SW/SE London wants company/a bodyguard to feel safe on #PunishAMuslimDay send me a message. Encourage anyone else who's free to do the same in their areas. We need to look out for each other before we expect others to. Stay safe people."

"Tomorrow is April 3rd guys.. all Muslims be extra cautious. To my hijabi sisters, if you're out and about tomorrow maybe think about swapping your scarf for a beanie or something. We have to be extra careful. Remind your friends and family. Stay safe✌🏼"

Banter: Some attempted to take a more light hearted-approach to help decrease the fear:

"If you really want to get under our skin on #PunishAMuslimDay: - Tell us about how epic your weekend drinking session was (1000 points) - Throw out the water bottle by the toilet in your workplace (2000 points) - Tell us how much you love Majid Nawaz (3000 points)"

"#PunishAMuslimDay Boil a chicken and season it with nothing but salt and make a Muslim eat it: 3000 points"

"#PunishAMuslimDay one thing Muslims dislike is chocolate. They’re told to look after their bodies as it is a trust unto them. And obviously chocolate is unhealthy for them. Basically kryptonite. Post chocolate to their houses for 800 Muslim points."

Counter-attack: Others on social media across the world have come up with an alternative way to spend their time on April 3.

"I saw the #PunishAMuslimDay letter, and I think we can do better.

I declare April 3rd #LoveAMuslimDay" 

The foul attempt to create fear and promote violence against Muslims has undoubtedly angered and upset the UK community, as many question what the government aims to do about it. In a recent report, it was found that the UK is facing a "surging threat" of far-right extremism, who often champion the idea of a "war against Islam." 

"Those behind the malicious letters are trying to create fear within the Muslim communities and the threatening letter titled ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ may be part of a wider campaign of hate against Muslims," said Iman Atta, director of anti-hate crime group Tell Mama. 

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