Islamophobic 'Punish a Muslim Day' letters condemned

Henrietta Strickland
March 11, 2018

Counter-terrorism police are treating the letters as a possible hate crime.

'Officers are now investigating the full circumstances.

The despicable acts range from verbal abuse at the bottom of the scale to the much more disturbing acts of "Throwing acid in the face of a Muslim", "Beat up a Muslim", "Butcher a Muslim" or even "Burn or bomb a Mosque".

Campaigners say the letters received by Muslims in London, Yorkshire and the Midlands "caused quite a lot of fear".

A Bradford Councillor, who was among the recipients of the letter, said that when he opened it and saw the content he was "horrified".

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said it was not yet clear whether any criminal allegations relating to the letters had been reported in London.

Meanwhile, Bradford West MP Naz Shah said the letters had also been delivered in her city.

"(The matter) is being treated with the utmost seriousness", the organization said.

West Yorkshire Police said it had received six reports while South Yorkshire Police said it had received three. "We welcome the action being taken by the police to investigate this matter", Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, one of the UK's largest Muslim umbrella organizations, said.

He told The Mirror: "It was not addressed to anyone, just the address and postcode as if it was sent out randomly". It has a second-class stamp on the plain white envelope and the frank mark is Sheffield. It was posted yesterday.

MP Yvette Cooper called the letters "vile", and her fellow MP Jess Phillips called on any of he constituents who received the letters to report them.

Police in Bradford have acknowledged they are investigating reports of the letters.

'It seems unusual that anyone would send something like this to an address in a predominantly Muslim area. "I don't. I am alarmed by its content especially where it mentions acid because of all the recent reports in the media of acid attacks", he told local media.

"I think it has been sent out by a group with the intent of alarming people and to stir up racial hatred".

Meanwhile, Iman Atta, director of anti-Muslim hate monitoring service Tell MAMA, said that the letters have caused "fear within the community", adding, "They are asking if they are safe, if their children are safe to play outdoors".

She said a number of the letters had been posted from Sheffield and bore a similarity to letters sent to mosques in the United Kingdom and U.S. in May 2017, which were also posted from Sheffield.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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