Jewish groups have reacted with “horror and shock” at news this week of letters posted around the UK calling on people to take part in a “Punish a Muslim Day”, with the Chief Rabbi leading the condemnation.
The letters were posted and sent to people in cities throughout the UK, including Bradford, Leicester, London, Sheffield and Cardiff, calling on them to physically and verbally attack Muslims.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis led condemnation, saying: ““The horrific calls for a ‘punish a Muslim day’ over recent days are a sobering reminder of the depravity of Islamophobia. The reaction of the Jewish community is unequivocal. Threats of violence and prejudice directed at British Muslims undermine everything that it means to be British and are totally abhorrent.”
He continues, that “this kind of campaign to terrorise and divide our society makes cleaR just ow important it is for us to challenge that narrative wherever it is found.!”
Trustees of Nisa-Nashim, the Jewish-Muslim women’s network, said: “We stand in solidarity with our fellow Muslim sisters and communities to condemn this letter in the strongest possible terms. We encourage Jewish women and people from all backgrounds to reach out to their Muslim neighbours with letters of love, not hate.”
They added: “This is a frightening time for Muslims in Britain and we should reassure and show solidarity where we can. There is no place for this type of incitement of hatred against British Muslims in the UK. Now is the time for communities to come together and not be complacent in the face of threats and violence.”
Edie Friedman of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) said: “It is shocking that in 2018 we see letters encouraging people to take part in a ‘punish a Muslim day’. It reinforces, yet again, the need for different communities to come together and find practical ways of showing solidarity and support for one another.”
A Board of Deputies spokesman described the letters as “sickening,” saying: “We also note that potentially harmful substances and anti-Muslim letters have been sent to some Muslim MPs.”
He added: “Our community knows all too well how concerning it is to be on the receiving end of such threats. We will be writing to the MPs affected to express our sympathy and to make it clear that British Jews stand united with British Muslims in our opposition to racism and violence.”