Published: 2018-04-02 16:48
Last Updated: 2018-04-02 18:22
According to the UK-based website The Mirror, Muslims in the UK who wear a hijab have been warned to hide their headscarves and avoid picking their children up from school on their own, ahead of the planned “Punish a Muslim Day” on Tuesday, 3 April, 2018.
WhatsApp messages are circulating among the Muslim community in the UK, with friends and family advising each other to secure their doors and to calmly explain the situation to their children. Muslims have also been advised to walk in open spaces and in groups.
Last month, letters encouraging Britons to take part in the “Punish a Muslim Day” were sent to Muslims’ home addresses in several major cities across the UK. The hate-speech is believed to be in response to attacks carried out by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in the UK, as four attacks were launched in the UK during 2017 alone.
The letters reportedly read that 3 April would be “Punish a Muslim Day,” and that points would be awarded for acts of violence: 25 points for pulling off a woman’s head scarf, 500 points for murdering a Muslim and 1,000 points for bombing a mosque.
The messages prompted the national Counter-terrorism Police in the UK to treat the letters as threats of a possible hate crime.
Meanwhile, the Tell Mama UK project, which monitors anti-Muslim activity in the country, said that people have contacted them about receiving the threatening letters in Bradford, Leicester, London, Cardiff and Sheffield.
“This has caused quite a lot of fear within the community,” the project’s Director, Iman Atta said. “They are asking if they are safe, if their children are safe to play outdoors.”
Recent figures have revealed that the number of Islamophobic hate crimes in London increased by 40% in 2017, with many of the attacks targeting women wearing the hijab, according to the British Evening Standard website.