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Monday, June 25, 2018

'Punish a Muslim Day' hate letter sparks online outrage

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A racist, hate-filled letter that calls on people to attack Muslims has gone viral in the UK. The letter has been posted to many people anonymously and declares April 3 as 'Punish a Muslim Day', and offers 'rewards' for different types of attacks on Muslims. An investigation has been launched into the letter.

The letter claims to be from Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), a part of UK's Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that is responsible for the administration of criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales. However, both HMCTS and MoJ have denied any association with the letter.

"They have hurt you, they have made your loved ones suffer. They have caused you pain and heartache. What are you going to do about it? Are you a 'sheep' like the vast majority of the population?" reads the letter, pictures of which have been posted to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

"Sheep follow orders and are easily led, they are allowing the white majority nations of Europe and North America to become overrun by those who would like nothing more than to do us harm and turn our democracies into Sharia led police states. Only you can help turn this thing around, only you have the power. Do not be a sheep!" the letter continues.

The letter then goes on to detail a point system to reward 'action taken'. For instance, it offers 10 points for verbally abusing a Muslim and 25 points for pulling the hijab of a Muslim woman. The list goes on, with the rewards increasing along with the barbarity of the task and how regressive it is. It offers 1000 points for burning or bombing a mosque and the highest level being 2500 points to 'nuke Mecca'.

HMCTS and MoJ have both denied having anything to do with the letter.
 
"We're aware of a deeply offensive letter circulating that misuses our contact details. It's not a HMCTS letter - it's full of hatred & contradicts all we stand for. We've reported it to the Police who are investigating," read a tweet from HMCTS.

We’re aware of a deeply offensive letter circulating that misuses our contact details. It’s not a HMCTS letter – it’s full of hatred & contradicts all we stand for. We’ve reported it to the Police who are investigating. If you’ve been targeted, please call 101.

The Ministry of Justice too tweeted to clarify that it had nothing to do with the letter. "This is not a Ministry of Justice or HMCTS letter, and it is being investigated," it said in a tweet.

 The letter comes amid rising xenophobia across Europe, with the far right movement in the UK serving as a very prominent example. Such tensions have been exacerbated by groups like Britain First, who have posted misinformation regularly and have even been retweeted by US President Donald Trump.

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