Man arrested for sending letters entitled “Punish a Muslim Day”


LONDON: The counter-terrorism police have arrested a man on suspicion of sending letters entitled “Punish a Muslim Day”, that urged people around the country to commit violent acts.
The unnamed 35-year-old from Lincoln in north-east England was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of sending letters with threatening messages and of sending a hoax noxious substance.
He was taken to a police station for questioning. “These letters seek to cause fear and offence among our Muslim communities. They also seek to divide us,” said Martin Snowden, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, in a statement on the investigation.
The letters, which designated April 3 as “Punish a Muslim Day” and proposed ranking acts of violence according to a points system, started arriving in some people’s post in March. Among others, four members of parliament with South Asian backgrounds received copies. In the event, April 3 passed without any reported rise in anti-Muslim violence.
Hate crimes in Britain surged in 2016/17, according to official figures. Significant factors included the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union, a goal linked to curbing immigration in the eyes of some Brexit supporters, as well as a spate of attacks by Islamic extremists in the first half of 2017.