- UK office of the Al-Azhar alumni body condemns Islamophobic ‘Punish a Muslim’ campaign
- The Organization for al-Azhar Graduates calls for serious efforts to counter anti-Muslim extremsim
2018-03-25 13:20:02Z    

The Muslims of Great Britain have become deeply distressed and worried by the recent campaign of letters being sent around the country inciting violence and terrorism against Muslims in this country. The letters appear to call on people to attack Muslims on 3 April 2018, and for this day to become a day to punish Muslims. It further assigns points for different ways of launching aggressive and violent assaults against Muslims; from winning 25 points for pulling a Muslim woman’s headscarf and 1,000 points for bombing a mosque.

Vice-President of the UK Branch, Bakhtyar Pirzada al-Azhari, stated: “With more attention being paid to religious extremism, the rise of anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobia is of serious and growing concern. Extremism in all its forms must be countered, and incitement to violence must be dealt with by the full force of the law of the land. We cannot allow for extremists from any background to destroy the peace and tolerant fabric of our society.”

The Senior Imam at Leeds Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim MBE, said: “There’s no denying that these revolting letters have caused alarm amongst many in the Muslim community. These attempts to divide us represent the very worst of a deplorable anti-Muslim sentiment that has been rearing its head with increasing frequency over the past year. It is reassuring, however, to see the excellent response from our authorities, and wider communities, taking this so seriously. It is equally important that those who have received the letters contact the police as all evidence is vital in helping them find, and hold accountable, whoever is responsible for such hateful rhetoric. We urge the government and the social media companies to continue to take strong action against the Far Right who are spreading Islamophobia. We ask people to turn the 3 April into a Love Muslim Day - a day of when we reach out to the other, celebrate diversity and shared values in Britain.”

In a statement issued by the Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden said: “We take religious hatred extremely seriously and my officers will be carrying out a full and thorough investigation in response to these reports. These letters seek to cause fear and offence among our Muslim communities. They also seek 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 continue to encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of such an offence to contact their local police force on 101. We’d also appeal to anyone with any information about the individual, or individuals, responsible to call police in confidence on 0800 789 321.”