How One Student Is Using the Tactics of Hate Groups to Fight Islamophobia

“Love a Muslim” Letter Campaign is Gaining Attention

Shahab Adris, a UK citizen and a Muslim activist, wants to reverse the hate campaign against Muslims which is in progress. Many Britons have received letters with the caption “Punish a Muslim” asking people to terrorize the UK Muslim community. The campaign, started by Adris, copies the style of Punish a Muslim but relabels it as “Love a Muslim”. The latter urges kindness instead of violence.

To give an example, 10 points would be awarded if the recipient smiles at a Muslim. Presenting a Muslim with cake and coffee earns the giver 25 points. The points increase with the complexity of benevolence or money spent. For example, 1,000 points are given for raising much-needed funds to assist Syria or Iraq Muslims. Adris is the regional manager for Muslim Engagement and Development, an advocacy group. According to the Adris, the “points” system for Punish a Muslim was frightening. It encouraged violence and led to feelings of anxiety in British Muslim communities.

Adris has stated the response is excellent from both Muslims and non-Muslims. He expected a good response from the former but was surprised by the welcoming response from non-Muslims as well. Many non-Muslims have promised to do something with their Muslim colleagues. He told a prominent radio channel that as Muslims, his community always wanted to love everyone and unite people independent of their background, saying that the same campaign could be labeled a human day, a Jew day, a Christian day, or even an atheist day. In his letter, he urged the reader to be a special person and not a normal person. The reader is encouraged to show love to fellow Muslim brethren.

Thelma Walker, the Labour MP elected from Colne Valley, supported such actions. She, and many others have termed it as an ideal response to bigotry and hate. The campaign’s growing popularity was proven when Yasmin Qureshi, the Labour MP, has raised this issue in House of Commons. The MP gave details of the letters which were received by many residents of Sheffield, Bradford, Cardiff, Leicester, and London.

However, this has drawn a backlash from extremist anti-Muslim groups. British law enforcement authorities dealing with counter-terrorism had said earlier that it has received a number of reports of probable malicious communications which were sent to individuals all over the United Kingdom. Counter-Terrorism Policing North East said that anyone who has received such hate mail should immediately contact local police.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter