In response to anonymous letters circulating throughout the United Kingdom calling for violence against Muslims on April 3, communities responded with love and solidarity, using a counter-hashtag #LoveAMuslimDay to the original hashtag #PunishAMuslimDay, according to The Guardian.
The letters declared April 3 to be "Punish a Muslim" Day, advocating for acts of violence against Muslims, including throwing acid in the face of a Muslim and bombing a mosque.
“Punish A Muslim Day” letters are being sent to families in East London. The letter details a point system for each action & a reward. For example pulling a Muslim women’s hijab is 25 points, throwing acid is 50 points and burning or bombing a mosque is a whole 1,000 points. pic.twitter.com/6kmCrDrXt0— Rowaida Abdelaziz (@Rowaida_Abdel) March 9, 2018
Shahab Adris, Yorkshire & Humber regional manager of Muslim Engagement and Development, wrote an alternative letter that coined the #LoveAMuslimDay hashtag, calling for April 3 to be a day to extend acts of kindness to Muslims, including smiling at a Muslim and inviting a Muslim into your home.
On the 3rd April, don't listen to the bigots and their "Punish a Muslim" day, instead let's show that our communities won't be divided, that hope is better than fear and we have more in common. #LoveAMuslimDay https://t.co/YhPXBMb403— Thelma Walker MP (@Thelma_WalkerMP) March 12, 2018
"I thought, let’s turn this letter on its head, keep the points system and turn it into something lovely," Adris said. "Some of the responses I’ve seen from the Muslim community have been really positive, but the most remarkable thing has been getting responses from people who are not Muslim, saying they will do something with a Muslim colleague."
Multiple Love a Muslim Day events have been planned throughout the U.K. to show solidarity with the Muslim community.
In response to the horrific letters calling to #PunishAMuslimDay #solidarity to all those standing with the Muslim community today #NoToIslamophobia #LoveAMuslimDay #DayOfSolidarity Join the solidarity events https://t.co/M4OPFHuqQW pic.twitter.com/1qEoCztrdQ— Stand Up To Racism (@AntiRacismDay) April 3, 2018
The hashtag #ProtectAMuslimDay was also trending on social media, with volunteers manning phone lines to help people concerned about facing violence on April 3.
According to The Guardian, one spokesperson said they've seen more than 100 volunteer sign up.
3rd of April has been planned as a "PunishAMuslimDay" To help our community feel safe, we have organised the #ProtectAMuslimDay initiative. We have organised volunteers from around the UK to help you if you feel unsafe on the day, call: 07985606148 or 07985601849. More info pic.twitter.com/XbzWd9qMC5— Jamilla جميلة (@JamillaTweets) March 28, 2018