With blatant hatemongering like ‘Punish a Muslim Day’, Brexit has changed Britain for the worse

Published: March 26, 2018
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The main ethos of the letter is to instil fear into the Muslim community and make them even more vulnerable to attack through blatant hatemongering. PHOTO: TWITTER/TELLMAMAUK

Ever since Britain’s exasperated populace announced its wish to leave the European Union (EU), there seems to have been a blanket approval given to racists to harass, intimidate and scare Muslims and other ethnic minorities in an attempt to put ‘Britain first’. A sizeable increase in attacks against Muslims was reported soon after Brexit occurred, and this increase seems to show no signs of abating anytime soon. 

The latest hate-fuelled incident involves a highly offensive and problematic letter put through the letterboxes of individuals in various communities of the country, calling for a “Punish a Muslim Day”. The main ethos of the letter is to instil fear into the Muslim community and make them even more vulnerable to attack through blatant hatemongering.

The letter goes on to elaborate on the ‘points’ people will be awarded for particular actions, all of which are intended to harm Muslims. For instance, verbally abusing a Muslim will garner 10 points, removing a woman’s hijab will achieve 25 points, while throwing acid on a Muslim’s face will get 50 points. It goes on to get much worse, as it lists bombing a mosque as being equivalent to 1,000 points, and culminates in 2,500 points for ‘nuking’ Mecca.

This is eerily similar to the notices people received in Nazi Germany, just before they started killing Jewish people within ghettos and concentration camps.  If messages like these aren’t taken seriously and stopped immediately, then more people will be buoyed by this, and will consider hating and harming Muslims to be perfectly acceptable.

In response to the growing hate against Muslims, a discussion took place in British Parliament to stem the flow of these attacks, and a push was made to actively define Islamophobia so legislation could be put in place in order to protect Muslims from attacks in the future.

Will these letters be a solitary incident? Absolutely not.

Will the British government actively do anything about this? Absolutely not.

Nothing will change, purely because the current administration has far more pressing issues to address, such as Brexit, and the rapidly failing economy.  Ever since terror attacks were carried out in London and Manchester, sympathy towards Muslims has waned considerably, while Brexit as well was fuelled by an anti-immigrant attitude towards the influx of Syrian refugees.

There is something very worrying about the blasé attitude the current British government has when it comes to Muslims and the growing hate against a certain community. If the letter had said ‘Punish a Jew’, it is undeniable that the consequences would be far more material.

Less than a week ago, a dog owner was found guilty of posting anti-Semitic videos, in which he taught his dog to do a Nazi salute. The response to this hate crime is justified; however, it is disconcerting to see that no prosecutions have been made over the highly insidious letters calling for punishing all Muslims.  This dichotomy shows that the British government, while rightly concerned about protecting Jewish people from discrimination, is content with looking the other way when it comes to hatemongering against Muslims.

Recently, the leaders of the far-right group known as Britain First were jailed for harassing an innocent Muslim family, and these arrests surely must have fuelled more anger against those who hold similar anti-Muslim views. Britain First is known for vociferous criticism against Muslims, and its leaders, Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, even had their day in the sun when one of their pages was retweeted by Donald Trump himself. Although they have now been jailed for religiously aggravated harassment, they would often hide behind ‘freedom of speech’ during their vitriolic anti-Muslim speeches, and their disturbingly large fan following was a result of this. Now, freedom of speech is used as a green light for people to engage in hatemongering without bearing the negative repercussions, which is ultimately borne by innocent Muslims.

As a Muslim living in Britain, I feel the country has become a lot more divisive since Brexit, and the way things are going, it’s only going to get worse as more immigrants come into the country. Although I haven’t personally experienced discrimination directly, it has become more difficult to find paid employment at this time, creating the seed of doubt and worry that my name or faith may have more to do with this than my credentials. Overall, however, there have been too many reports of mosques being attacked, hate speech, and women’s hijabs being ripped off, which is why seeing these letters now only adds more fuel to this conflagration of discrimination.

Faiza Iqbal

Faiza Iqbal

A law graduate from King's College, London Nottingham Law School. Having worked at Mandviwalla & Zafar as an Associate, she now writes freelance articles and is trying to qualify as a barrister in Canada.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • HappyHighwayman

    Do you really think the Scottish man who is not a Nazi should go to prison because of a bad taste in pranks?Recommend

  • hzr

    Unfortunately this is due the failure of Muslims to become part of the wider British society.Recommend

  • Dan Shanks

    Extremely disturbing news. When one group of people is threatened so blatantly and brazenly, it’s a start of much worse scenario not just for the victimized group but the whole country and no one is safe anymore. It’s extremely important for British government to “Do More”, in order to stem the rise of hatred and anarchy in Britain.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Atleast Muslims in Britain are treated far better than Ahmedis, Hindus and other minorities in PakistanRecommend

  • Salman Sheikh

    That is called terrorism, and hypocrite world will keep silent because its not started by Muslims.Recommend

  • zoro

    Have you ever thought from the other side of your point of discussion ???Recommend

  • Sane sid

    My genuine qustion here is….. why is that Muslims have a problem in most of western countries? Is it just difference of faith that is not acceptable to local populace? Or a different lifestyle that is threatening the locals to have a biased view?Recommend

  • Ron Elliott

    Same reason Jews did. Or blacks. Plenty of racists out there eager to blame their own inadequacies and failures on some easily identifiable group.Recommend

  • Ron Elliott

    This is a terrorist activity. These fine people (to quote our American President) should be treated like any other terrorist. With Hellfire missiles, snipers and cluster bombs.Recommend

  • Ron Elliott

    But not for more than a decade or two. What would you recommend for a Muslim threatening to blow up a Church?Recommend

  • Ron Elliott

    Unlike say, the Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews; British “society” still can’t get along with the Irish or Europeans and nobody can tell you and them apart. Osama bin laden was very careful to ensure that the West would react with hatred and bigotry towards Muslims and rightwingers certainly were willing to follow his game plan. Rightwingers have been played like chumps by some guy in a dress. Think about it.Recommend

  • Ron Elliott

    Here in America, we have determined that white Christians are genetically unable to be terrorists. Confused, angry and mostly just on the wrong meds, regardless of how many children they kill, but never ever terrorists.Recommend

  • Sudhanshu Swami

    In Eastern Side, Sri lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, China too !Recommend

  • Sane sid

    Maybe its a rigid way of living without gelling into the local cultureRecommend

  • Sane

    Muslims have problem in India also as they don’t submit to murderers, rapists and nonsense.Recommend

  • Sane sid

    All I am saying is….. a group of people when moving to a new place should try and gel with the locals and modern outlook rather than carrying your old heavy baggage in the name of traditions. Your tradition has to be limited to its place of origin…… In 21st century being forced to be under veil is inhuman and who would accept that???Recommend

  • vinsin

    How many white killed their Children for Christianity?Recommend

  • vinsin

    How? Why? And how this has harmed America?Recommend

  • siesmann

    Hate has become way of life ever since Trump has come to occupy White House.He has brought the Nazis and white supremacists out into the open.Recommend

  • Cardiff Canton

    Really can’t believe you think this so called letter is real. It’s so obviously a fake from inside the Muslim ” community” who had advanced warning that something bad was coming down from Telford. A simple exercise in deflection sucked up by the BBC. Laughable.Recommend

  • Abeer Hafiz

    Thoughtful article Faiza. Keep Writing.Recommend