April 3rd, every islamophobe’s favorite day (and no, not “Fish Fingers and Custard Day” — yes, it’s a real thing); that’s right, it’s Punish a Muslim Day. Weeks ago, fliers began circulating the UK, calling together all right-wing extremists and white supremacists to attack Muslims for simply existing. In order to incentivize people to partake in the field-day-fun, the fliers outlined a point system to reward participants for a variety of crimes against Muslims, ranging from small acts of terrorism like “pulling the scarf of of a Muslim ‘woman’” to “nuking Mecca” — the more heinous, the more points.
Thankfully, the proliferation of these flyers was met with more disgust than praise; in fact, to counter the negativity set forth by these extremists, fliers for Love a Muslim Day have been circulating social media and telephone poles in response. These fliers mimic the cringy graphic design of their distasteful counterparts, but replace the violent acts of their predecessor with charitable ones; for instance, the acts vary from small tokens of kindness like “smil[ing] at a Muslim” to grand gestures like “buy[ing] a Hajj package for a Muslim family.”
Although the UK police did not find any solid evidence of hate-crime planning upon investigating the issue, groups within the UK still banded together to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community during on this anxiety-ridden occasion. One group in particular launched #ProtectAMuslimDay to combat any potential threats, creating a hotline for Muslims to contact in case they wanted someone to accompany them while walking home, taking the train, etc.
While as of now, there have not been any attacks made in the name of Punish a Muslim Day, the creators of the flier still instilled fear in Muslim communities and many stayed at home if they could help it. Regardless, we think it’s safe to say that we should not be marking our calendars on April 3rd again next year, and if we must, it will be for Love a Muslim Day.