Scrolling news:

Unprecedented hate campaign target Muslims across Britain

29th Mar 2018
Unprecedented hate campaign target Muslims across Britain

Labour MPs, Mohammad Yasin, Rupa Huq, Afzal Khan and Rushanara Ali received ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letters (Photo: CC)

Hamed Chapman

Police forces across the UK are investigating an unprecedented coordinated hate campaign against Muslims nationwide, including suspicious packages sent to several Muslim MPs and encouraging a so-called ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ in April.

At least four Muslim Labour MPs, Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton), Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow), Mohammad Yasin (Bedford) and Afzal Khan (Manchester Gorton), were in receipt of anonymous ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letters containing sticky substances, which police described as “low level noxious” and resulted in staff being taken to hospital as a precaution. There were conflicting reports whether one was also sent to Local Communities Secretary Sajid Javid as his office did not acknowledge to The Muslim News whether he had received the letter or not.

“If the cowards that perpetrated this think that this will stop me standing against hatred they are sorely mistaken. In the House, I highlighted the culture of anti-Muslim sentiment which has sadly become inherent in some of the right-wing press. It’s time for some of our media to recognise the responsibility they have not to inflame tensions and inspire hatred,” Dr Huq said in a statement to The Muslim News.

Greater Manchester Police were among forces to have issued warning guidelines to anyone in receipt of the threatening letters that were also reported to have also been sent to Muslims in West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Birmingham as well as London, while Counter Terrorism Policing North East were said to be providing national coordination for the investigation.

Scotland Yard further revealed that the malicious hate crime letter was also being circulated online and copies were also being received through Whatsapp. It incited people to carry out violent acts against Muslims, including verbal abuse, removing a woman’s hijab or head-scarf, physical assault, using acid as a weapon and attacking mosques. “Butcher a Muslim using gun, knife, vehicle or otherwise,” and “burn or bomb a mosque,” and even “Nuke Mecca”, it said.

“I am sure that the whole House (of Commons) will join me in condemning this unacceptable and abhorrent behaviour, which has no place in our society,” Prime Minister, Theresa May, said when questioned in Parliament. “An investigation is underway and steps are being taken to bring the perpetrators to justice,” she added.

Opposition Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said that the “disgusting hate-filled letters sent to Muslim fellow citizens and colleagues in Parliament are utterly contemptible.” Labour is committed to tackling Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime and those that seek to divide us will find that our country is “united in mutual respect, proud of our diversity and ready to protect our shared future. Today we stand together with those facing this vile Islamophobia, to show them support, care and solidarity.”

In response to an urgent question put forward by Yasmin Qureshi in Parliament asking what the Government will do in the face of this threat, junior Home Office Minister, Victoria Atkins, repeated the Government line that it takes hate crime and Islamophobia “extremely seriously and the UK has a robust legislative framework to respond to it.”

“Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, and equal rights define us as a society. The Government is determined to promote these values actively working in partnership and alongside with the Muslim and indeed all faith communities,” Atkins added. “To demonstrate what we have in common is the best defence against extremists who would seek to divide us.”

 

 

Leave a Comment

What is 14 + 8 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets