With their small acts of kindness, people from all around the world are coming together today to make one important point: Merely love can drive out hate.
In response to an anonymous letter circulated all over East London dubbing April 3 “Punish A Muslim Day, ” thousands of people are shutting out Islamophobia with their own acts of love online and in-person toward the Muslim community.
Another letter designating April 3 as “Love A Muslim Day” went viral for encouraging people to engage with the Muslim community through a game phase system. For instance, smiling at a Muslim earns 10 points, inviting a Muslim to your home will get 100 points, and participating in a fundraiser for those in need in Muslim-majority regions is worth 1,000 phases.
Literally i got tears in my eyes after knowing about penalise a muslim day !… We all are humans! Spread love not hate….. #BanPunishAMuslimDay … On 3rd April, let’s celebrate #LoveAMuslimDay together !. We Muslims are not terrorists !. We are humans as you !. Please stop pic.twitter.com/ U5fRRybckJ
— Dua (@ Varun_Shraddha_) March 26, 2018
This initiative is in direct response to the earlier vile, xenophobic letter that gamified anti-Muslim violence.
According to the “Punish A Muslim Day” letter, in order to win “points, ” non-Muslims would have to engage in activities like verbally abusing a Muslim or ripping off a woman’s headscarf. In addition to “nuking Mecca, ” it also encouraged people to plan acid assaults and to torture them through skinning or electrocution — and to even murder Muslims.
“Punish A Muslim Day” letters are being sent to families in East London. The letter details a phase system for each action& a reward. For instance pulling a Muslim women’s hijab is 25 points, throwing acid is 50 phases and burning or bombing a mosque is a whole 1,000 points. pic.twitter.com/ 6kmCrDrXt0
— Rowaida Abdelaziz (@ Rowaida_Abdel) March 9, 2018
In the United Kingdom, rallies and events were held all over the nation to stand in solidarity with their Muslim community members. Some volunteers also manned #ProtectAMuslimDay hotlines so that Muslims feeling unsafe or the individuals who witness suspicious Islamophobic behavior could call for help or assistance. And in northeast England, a human chain was formed around the Newcastle Central Mosque.
People formed a human chain around the Newcastle Central Mosque for #LoveAMuslimDay — a response to letters that were sent to addresses across the UK calling for acts of violence against Muslims on April 3, referred to as’ Punish a Muslim Day.’
— AJ+ (@ ajplus) April 3, 2018
The show of support for Muslims is going beyond the U.K. and into the great World Wide Web.
In the United States, Hate Hurts — a special project from the Arizona chapter for the Council of American Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group — is providing information and resources on how allies can help their Muslim friends. They are promoting allies to be active bystanders and take part in bystander intervention trainings.
We hear allies asking often: What can we do to help?
-Here’s a worthwhile answer: Become an active bystander/ hold bystander intervention trainings in your communities. We need tools to stand up against the rising tide of loathe. Share widely. #NotAlone #LoveAMuslim HateHurts pic.twitter.com/ T9ak6p9yfW
— Imraan Siddiqi (@ imraansiddiqi) April 3, 2018
On Twitter, the hashtag #LoveAMuslimDay also went viral, with people utilizing the hashtag to send messages of love and support.
Don’t let the nervousnes get you. At the end of the working day whatever happens, happens. As long as your religion is strong& you are still do good, that’s all that matters. Remember, any moron who partakes will be condoned for their actions by God, He is merely. #LoveAMuslimDay
— BTS ARMY UK (@ btserotonin) April 2, 2018
Honestly, to hell with “Punish A Muslim Day.” Let’s do the exact opposite. Let’s celebrate #LoveAMuslimDay [?]. Join me as we appreciate, respect,& love our Muslim neighbors, friends, activists, family members, brethren/ sisters, teachers, caretakers, leaders,& kindred spirits.
— Dr. Craig Considine (@ CraigCons) April 3, 2018
Bob Bland, the co-founder and co-chair of the Women’s March, fostered adherents to stand with Muslims and paid tribute to the Muslim activists that taught so much “about empathy and solidarity.”
Let’s be sure that all of our Muslim friends+ community feel loved and supported today.
I can’t imagine doing this work without all the inspiring Muslim activists that have taught me so much about empathy and solidarity over the past year. #LoveAMuslim #LoveAMuslimDay pic.twitter.com/ KVRFW6IGAv
— Bob Bland (@ bobblanddesign) April 3, 2018
The official Women’s March account tweeted a comic on how to safely and effectively intervene as a spectator when an Islamophobic event result:
Others utilized their tweets to recognise how Muslim neighbours and Muslim community leaders have stood up for causes other than their own:
Non-Muslims are also tweeting about their experiences of living in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods and/ or having Muslim friends:
I live in a 70% Muslim neighbourhood.
Far more likely to get a smile& friendly greeting in the street here than anywhere I’ve lived in the UK.
The only thing they’ve changed about me is to improve my cooking.
Only danger I face is over-generous samosa feeding. #LoveAMuslimDay pic.twitter.com/ W6qKlWs5vE
— Local. No tail. (@ localnotail) April 3, 2018
Y’all , not to brag or anything but I #LoveAMuslim every day. In fact, my whole Unitarian Universalist family loves his whole Muslim family. I am angry that this is even relevant but very proud to wish you a happy #LoveAMuslimDay. pic.twitter.com/ ug0RuOfYHU
— Lara Wagner (@ larawagneratl) April 3, 2018
Today I’d like to shout out to my muslim friends, muslim neighbours, the muslim teachers, my muslim GP, the surgeon who operated on me in 2015( muslim ), the muslim store owneds in Balham who are a hoot, any muslim who’s driven me in a auto and to muslims, generally #LoveAMuslimDay
— SheRa Marley-Threepwood (@ SheRa_Marley) April 3, 2018
[?] When Muslims in Palestine heard I was a Jew, they said “You’re welcome here”
[?] When a Muslim ensure me near a theater in Dhaka, he offered me a free ticket
[?] When Muslims considered me in Senegal, they invited me into their homes for tea
#LoveAMuslimDay pic.twitter.com/ XK9E3T4Qey
— Joss Sheldon (@ JossSheldon) April 3, 2018
Some Muslims are employing Twitter to show they have no fear and that they take pride — unapologetically — in their religion identity and history.
I refuse to hide myself or to give the ignorant bigots what they want.
I am American. I am Muslim. I am American-Muslim. I am here. I am proud. I am loved. I am not going anywhere. pic.twitter.com/ HMixZOfRmB
— Ziad Ahmed (@ ziadtheactivist) April 3, 2018
And some Muslims are doing that with humor: another great weapon against hate.
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