CUSU BME campaign expresses "utter disgust" at circulation of racist letter

The headline of the letter dispatched around the country

The CUSU BME campaign has expressed its disgust and horror at a letter circulated over the month of March, which was titled 'Punish a Muslim Day'.  Cambridge and other communities around the country have responded with messages of unity and solidarity.

The letter professed a disgusting view of the Muslim communities across this country. It claimed that “we are allowing the white majority nations of Europe and North America to become over-run by those who would like nothing more than to do us harm and turn our democracies into Sharia led police states.” The claims were then followed by a detailed point system introduced by the phrase “there will be rewards based on action taken”.  

On the 11th of March it was reported that six communities had received such letters, with four MPs having received one by the thirteenth of the same month.   According to The Guardian most letters seemed to have been sent from the Sheffield area and reached communities in Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, London and more. No letters have seemed to reach Cambridgeshire yet.

Parallel letters were sent titled 'Love a Muslim' to be scheduled on the same date. They were sent by the charity Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) and written by Shahab Adris, the Yorkshire and Humber regional manager. These letters contained a point systems based on acts of kindness and positivity including small acts such as smiling and making an effort to take weekend trips with Muslim colleagues and fast in Rhamadan with a Muslim.

Cambridge has bellowed a rallying cry of unity and diversity in the face of the appalling letters and the message contained within them. The CUSU BME Campaign expressed its solidarity with the Muslim community both “inside and outside of Cambridge” and “utter disgust” towards the “grossly racist and islamophobic event being carried out”. The campaign also called for its “able-bodied white allies” to partake in a resistance movement to demonstrate unity and provide protection to those in need.

The movement was organized alongside Cambridge Stand Up to Racism and took place at the Abu Bakr Mosque on Mawson Road. Imam Muhammed Amir Karim beautifully captured the spirit and atmosphere of the movement in his words saying: “We did this today to show we are united, and that there is no differences in the community, and there is only harmony and peace here” 

At the event a statement was made public that declared that this form of “vile racism has no place in our communities” and that “Muslim women are particular targets of such hate campaigns and are disproportionately likely to face attacks and abuse in the street.” The statement pledged to “work together to root out Islamophobia, to oppose racism in all its forms and to defend our vibrant multicultural society.” The statement was signed by Cambridge UCU, Daniel Zeichner local Cambridge MP, Alex Mayer MEP, Lewis Herbert and Kevin Price, the leader and deputy leader of the Cambridge city council, respectively. The statement was also signed by numerous faculty members and students of the University.

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