The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the USA’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has urged the U.S. Muslim community “to increase security measures” following the ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ campaign in the UK. The campaign involved letters being mailed throughout several UK cities encouraging a day of violence targeting Muslims on April 3rd. Suspicious packages delivered to British Muslim politicians, which were later found to be unhazardous, were also linked to the campaign.
CAIR noted that, while the campaign appears to exclusively target British Muslims, it had received concerns and inquiries from American Muslims who wonder whether their families and communities might be similarly targeted. A school in Vermont expressed its concerns about this after receiving a similar threat in 2016. In response, CAIR noted that “it would only be prudent to increase security at Islamic institutions and in public spaces, and to remain vigilant to any potential bias-motivated actions”.
This anxiety is not new. According to CAIR, there has been “an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups”, especially in the wake of the election of Trump as president, and a recent pipe bombing of a mosque in Minnesota has revealed anxieties amongst the U.S. Muslim community about Islamophobia (read our article on this here).
The organization provides a number of resources to help the U.S. Muslim community protect itself, including the booklet, ‘Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety’.
CAIR. (2018) ‘Community Advisory: CAIR Urges Increased Security Measures Following ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ Threat in UK. [online] 28 March. https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/15059-community-advisory-cair-urges-increased-security-measures-following-punish-a-muslim-day-threat-in-uk.html. [Accessed 29 March 2018].