بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله
Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh
Since the repugnant letter titled ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ appeared at some doorsteps a few weeks ago, many have been commenting on the authenticity of the threat and the measures that need to be taken by Muslims, individually and collectively.
In trying to strike a balance between raising alarm and being complacent, the following notes might prove to be of use to those concerned.
- The letter itself, as despicable as it is, is most likely the work of someone who has nothing else to do. One could even describe it as being a pathetic attempt to exhort racist tendencies in hope of attracting attention.
- The problem however, is that it would be a mistake to ignore it entirely. On one level, some criminal racists might see it as a green light to commit crimes against anyone they despise, Muslim or otherwise. On another, as pathetic as it certainly is, it points to a serious issue that threatens society as a whole. Islamophobia has long been an issue which the government and relevant authorities have long failed to take seriously. It is hoped that this letter, provides the catalyst needed in order to legislate against Islamophobia and put in necessary measures to counter it at every level.
- It is imperative that common sense governs our behaviour on the 3rd of April, as well as every single day of the year. Walking among crowds, avoiding deserted, unlit and remote pathways, avoiding unnecessarily attracting unwanted attention to yourself and not staying out late when there is no call for it, are all reasonable measures which everyone should try to stick to at all times. Furthermore, always keep your doors locked and do not open the doors unless you are absolutely confident of the identity of the visitor. This coming Tuesday is no different.
- I acknowledge the numerous suggestions that have been distributed, including those suggesting Muslims, and especially women, should stay indoors that day and another proposing a Muslim general strike, and I have no doubt that each of those were made in good faith and some might actually be good ideas. However, the worst that could happen is for Muslims to behave in precisely the way these criminals desire. It would be a tragedy should Muslims be governed by fear, relinquish their achievements or desert their posts. This would only give the impression that this letter worked, and it would encourage other bigots and racists to do more of the same.
- Discuss this openly with your children. They may have heard about this and are confused and/or unsure as to how they should behave. Discuss with them what has happened and why. Tell them that there are very few bad people, but because good people are the overwhelming majority, good will prevail. Assure them and instruct them on what they should do if they encountered something negative. It is important that our children are neither afraid nor confused.
- Make sure to be vigilant, to be aware of your surroundings at all times and to report any incident to the police, either on 101 to report non-emergency matters, or 999 for emergencies and urgent assistance.
- Finally, this is a good time to think of those amongst us and around the world who live in fear day in day out for various reasons; war, conflict, oppression, terrorism and persecution. Engage in supplication (Du’a) for everyone’s safety and if possible, be ready to assist those close to you who are in need of support.
فالله خير حافظا وهو أرحم الراحمين
“but God is the best of protectors and He is the most merciful of the merciful ones”
Muslim Association of Britain
1st April 2018