LONDON – British Muslim women are being urged to stay at home, hide their hijabs, and avoid collecting children from school alone on Tuesday, April 3, the sick so-called ‘Punish a Muslim Day’.
“Sisters please be warned that on 3rd April DO NOT GO OUT they have made a national punish a Muslim day!” a WhatsApp message circulating with advice to Muslims reads, The Metro reported.
“This is not a joke, its sick plan they have a pointing system where they will b giving points nd reporting on a site with vids etc punishments include taking off hijabs…beating up and even acid throwing.
“May Allah protect us all.(sic)”
The messages have been widely circulated as Muslims urged more support against the highly condemned Islamophobic “Punish a Muslim” day.
The threatening letter urged its recipients to join a national day of violence against Muslims.
It asked people to carry out violent acts including verbal abuse, removing a woman’s hijab or head-scarf, physical assault and using acid as a weapon.
The horrifying points system detailed in the original letter said 10 points would be awarded if you ‘verbally abuse a Muslim’, or 2500 points for ‘nuking Mecca’.
Other sickening acts included 50 points for throwing acid in a Muslim’s face and 1000 points for bombing or burning a mosque.
The message continues by expressing fears that even though police say they are acting on, people should avoid going out.
“Leaflets promoting this sickness have been posted thru doors in east London and kids have heard about it in various schools sisters who r teachers were telling me last night,” the message adds.
Police said that they had received “no credible information” that hate crimes would take place but added officers remained on alert for potential incidents.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of continuing concerns circulating in the community about some correspondence that has been widely shared on social media.
“At this time there is no credible information to suggest there is any criminal activity that will take place.
“However, we recognize the alarm and distress such messages cause and an investigation led by Counter-Terrorism Policing North-East, and supported by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, is ongoing to identify those responsibly.”
He added: “These messages seek to cause fear and mistrust amongst our communities and to divide us. Yet in spite of this our communities have shown strength in their response to such hatred and in their support for each other.
“We will be encouraging local faith and community networks to take part in a ‘#westandtogether’ campaign to demonstrate once again that London is a tolerant city, proud and protective of all its diverse communities and a city the Met is proud to represent.”
Tell Mama said it has received 20 reports of physical letters being received in total, mostly at residential addresses in Leicester, Bradford and East London, bearing the same postmark from Sheffield.
“Given the fear in Muslim communities we’ve been working to see how communities can support each other on the day, should anything happen,” Iman Atta, director of Tell Mama, an NGO that monitors anti-Muslim activity, told the Standard.
“We’ve put security bulletins with safety tips out through police forces but also through our own database.
“The advice is to continue with your daily activities and don’t stay indoors as some messages circulated on WhatsApp have told people, but to be alert and vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, report it to police and Tell Mama.”
A Leicester group will be hosting a community event on April 3 in defiance of “Punish a Muslim” day letters.
According to 2011 census, Muslims numbered 76,737 people comprising 1.4% of Scotland’s population. The first Muslim known to have been in the northwestern European country was an Indian medical student at the University of Edinburgh from 1858 to 1859.
Most Muslims in Scotland are members of families that immigrated in the later decades of the 20th century.