Last month someone planned to designate and publicize April 3rd as “Punish a Muslim Day” in Great Britain. The supporting rationale was that Muslims have been the source of much pain and terror amongst the native population and it was now time to rise up and avenge itself, saying in essence, “We’re not going to take this anymore.”
The flyer purported to make this call into a contest, suggesting various aggressions toward Muslims and awarding an ascending scale of points for increasingly violent acts against Muslim victims.
The flyer was then mailed to various individuals and government officials in certain Muslim-dominated districts (London, Midlands, West Yorkshire). Not surprisingly, word of this document quickly made into the public eye, and condemnation was swift from all quarters. Still, as the date approached, many Muslims in the UK were gripped with fear. That same fear even jumped the pond to the USA where numerous chapters of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) used it as an opportunity to warn against Islamophobia, as they do incessantly). Of course, no “Punish a Muslim Day” was being promoted anywhere in the USA, but why let a good, fear-mongering opportunity pass unutilized?
Muslim women were counseled by their leaders to “hide their hijabs,” “lock their doors,” “venture outside only in groups” on April 3rd. Both British and American Muslims were told to be extremely vigilant, and report anything suspicious to authorities. British and American police forces in major cities assured the Muslim communities that they were stepping up patrols. In Britain, even the Counter-Terrorism Task Force announced they were pursuing leads to find and arrest the perpetrator(s) of this reprehensible movement.
Tuesday, April 3rd, came and went with no anti-Muslim abuse being reported, either in Great Britain or the USA. In fact, quite to the contrary, a number of good Samaritans organized “Love a Muslim,” or “Hug a Muslim” or “Support a Muslim” Day rallies instead, showing how the West tends to bend over backwards to demonstrate how inclusive and loving we are to all people (except, perhaps, to persecuted Christians).
So, who was behind “Punish a Muslim Day” and why? Time will tell, but it seems to me there are three distinct possibilities:
- Malevolent Muslim-haters who really hoped the idea would catch on and many Muslims would be demeaned, injured or even killed by “avengers.”
- Anti-Muslim trolls who didn’t really expect anyone to take them seriously except Muslims, so as to strike in their hearts immediate fear and ongoing anxiety.
- Muslim activist provocateurs, purposely creating and disseminating an “Islamophobic” hoax with the intent of deceitfully rousing sympathy towards the Muslim community from the public at large.
The first option seems highly doubtful to me, for the following reasons:
- The flyer does not seem to have been written by a native English speaker, using words and phrases that have an odd ring to “native ears” – for example: “Butcher a Muslim using gun, knife, vehicle or otherwise.”
- The exhortation to “Throw acid in face of a Muslim” likewise is stilted English; even more, it is not a behavior commonly seen in Western cultures, though it is one used fairly often in Muslim cultures as a punishment for women acting in a fashion deemed too Western or “wanton.”
- If the perpetrators were really trying to drum up support for anti-Muslim action on April 3rd, the most logical recipients of the flyer would be like-minded anti-Muslim groups – there are numerous nationalist and white-supremacist and anti-Muslim organizations in Britain, but none of them received a flyer.
- The fact that none of these “radical” groups took up the flyer’s cause indicates that such a rallying cry was considered out of bounds by all sane individuals, even those who believe they have an axe to grind with the large unintegrated Muslim population of Britain.
Option two seems rather more likely, not only for the above reasons but also because:
- The flyers were sent anonymously to addresses in “Muslim-dense” communities, as well as to Muslim ministers of Parliament, but not anywhere else.
Nevertheless, option three seems to me to be most likely, for the following reasons:
- If the intention was to bring harm and vengeance upon the Muslim community, it failed miserably. Not only were there (thankfully) no attacks traceable to this flyer, the result instead was the arousal of significant sympathy and protective support from the non-Muslim population, the exact opposite of what a Muslim-hater would want to see. On the other hand, if this were the secret work of a Muslim provocateur seeking to generate sympathy for “beleaguered and victimized Muslims,” it worked like a charm.
- In the past several years we have seen an increasing number of “hoax hate crimes” initially categorized as Islamophobic attacks on Muslims until the facts came out later (usually without much fanfare). You can read about many of these by simply typing in “hate crime hoaxes” on your favorite search engine. Almost all are efforts to elicit societal sympathy by Muslims falsely painting Muslim minorities as innocent victims. The remainder are hoaxes meant to get the perpetrator off the hook with parents or husbands for “forbidden” activities. The flyer in question seems to fit this bill quite well.
- This hypothesis accounts well for the other observations made above.
Of course, all of this is speculation. Hopefully one day soon the truth will come out. In the meantime, Muslim activists continue to use this non-event as a way to fan the flames of a new and imaginary bogeyman: kuffarophobia (kuffar is plural for “infidel”, and so kuffarophobia entails the fear among Muslims of the infidel world around them). Even though there is scant evidence that the West has any vested interest in attacking Muslims, certain protagonists have a vested interest in stoking the fires of fear, and no doubt will continue to use the “Punish a Muslim” meme as a way to further divide British and American societies. However, the good news is that in this particular instance, “Punish a Muslim Day” was a complete failure (for which we should all be thankful) in the West.
However, Punish a Muslim Day is a quotidian reality in many parts of the Muslim-majority world, where Sunnis kill Shiites, Shiites kill Sunnis, and both kill Ahmadis. Muslims “convicted” of homosexuality are thrown off roofs and then stoned, adulteresses are buried up to their necks and stoned until dead, irreligious Muslims are executed for apostasy, the masses are blown up by landmines, car bombs and suicide attackers because they are too secular, refusing to follow the radicals in their midst. Sadly, every day is Punish a Muslim Day in the Islamic world, but we hear little about it because our media is so saturated with reporting on fleas rather than investigating elephants. Reports of an Islamophobe in NYC tugging on a woman’s hijab make the evening news, while news of a mosque bombing in Karachi killing scores of men, women and children doesn’t even merit a passing mention. If you don’t believe me, let me ask you – how many of the following incidents do you remember from recent media reports? (I’m only listing a handful of incidents in the Muslim world from the last 30 days:
- On 4/2 a Muslim family of 6 was obliterated by an al-Shabaab landmine in Somalia;
- Also on 4/2, 48 Muslim schoolgirls are hospitalized with suspected poisoning by members of the Taliban, who oppose education for females;
- On 4/1 at least 20 were killed and 84 injured in a Boko Haram coordinated terrorist and suicide bomber attack in Maidugura, Nigeria
- On 3/31 a newly married Muslim couple in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were ambushed and “honor” killed by the Muslim families because they had married against the families’ wishes
- On 3/30 four teenage girls trained as suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a mosque, killing a woman and a boy and injuring 13 other Muslims;
- On 3/28 an al-Qaeda ambush in Mukalla, Yemen, kills 14 local soldiers, all Muslims;
- On 3/27 in Kassala, Sudan, two men are killed and five others injured by a fellow Muslim worshiper who was enraged when prohibited from speaking to the congregation; he himself was killed by the congregation during the melee;
- On 3/25 in Mogadishu, Somalia, a suicide car bomber outside Parliament extinguishes the lives of four innocent bystanders; that same day, in Mosul, Iraq, 48 bodies are discovered in a mass grave, having been tortured and executed by “soldiers” of the Caliphate;
- On 3/24 two Muslim police officers are killed in a bomb blast intended for a high-ranking official in his motorcade;
- On 3/23 in Toummours, Niger, Muslim assailants fire into a crowded marketplace, killing five; that same day, in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan a suicide car bomber detonates his payload while spectators are leaving a wrestling match, killing 16 and wounding 45.
These twelve incidents I have pulled from a list of 139 verified Islamic terror attacks that occurred in the last 30 days. I don’t have the stomach to report more.
So while the Western media and well-meaning humanitarian groups got all hot and bothered over a potential “Punish a Muslim Day” (hoax?), which thankfully never materialized, why is there no interest in the daily punishments Muslims are enduring at the hands of fellow Muslims? It is not just murders and sectarian mayhem (which I gave instances of above) but many behaviors occurring in private: female genital mutilations, familial rapes, acid attacks and honor killings, enslavement of women by husbands or employers, public shaming and blackballing of those out of step with religious leaders, and so on.
The “Punish a Muslim” theme enjoys daily prosecution throughout much of the Islamic world. It’s not a bad thing that our media, humanitarian groups and governments show concern over the slim possibility that some despicable things could be perpetrated against Muslims in our Western context, but doesn’t such unsupported breast-beating seem a bit like straining out gnats and swallowing camels? Where is our concern over what the Islamic world is doing to its own citizens, in the name of its religion? If Islamophobia is really being practiced effectively anywhere in the world, it seems to be in the Islamic world itself.
And what should we say about Islamic evil done to non-Muslim minorities under Muslim rule? If “Punish a Muslim Day” is common in the lands under the shadow of the crescent, “Punish a Kafir (infidel) Day” is ubiquitous. Don’t get me started. The persecution of Christians and other minorities by Muslim majority countries is truly reprehensible. But sufficient for the day’s blog is the evil thereof. Let’s leave Christian suffering at the hand of Islam for another day.