Leeds & West Yorkshire

'Love a Muslim Day' list in response to hate letter

Love a Muslim Day letter Image copyright Shahab Adris
Image caption The letter, shared on social media, suggests kind acts including 'buy a Muslim coffee with cake'

The man who created a 'Love a Muslim Day' list in response to letters promoting hateful acts hopes his idea will "bring people together".

It was sparked by reports that 'Punish a Muslim Day' letters had been sent out in several cities, calling on people to verbally and physically attack Muslims.

Four MPs from South Asian backgrounds have also received packages containing anti-Muslim letters in recent days.

The response, listing acts of kindness, has been widely shared on social media.

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Shahab Adris, from Leeds, said he was disgusted at the content of the widely-reported letter and had a "brainwave" on Saturday.

"I thought, let's turn this letter on its head, keep the points system and turn it into something lovely," he said.

"Some of the responses I've seen from the Muslim community have been really positive, but the most remarkable thing has been getting responses from people who are not Muslim, saying they will do something with a Muslim colleague."

Image caption Shahab Adris, pictured with BBC Radio Leeds presenter Liz Green, said the idea could be adapted for people of all beliefs
Image copyright Shahab Adris
Image caption A points system went from 'smile at a Muslim' to 'Buy a Hajj package for a Muslim family'

Mr Adris works for Muslim Engagement & Development, a national charity promoting political and social engagement and countering Islamophobia.

His letter rewards an increasing number of points for actions including 'smile at a Muslim', 'buy a Muslim coffee with cake' and 'do a fundraiser for the needy'.

Mr Adris told BBC Radio Leeds: "As a Muslim, we're always wanting to bring people together and love everyone regardless of their background - it could be love a Jew day, love a Christian day, love an atheist day, love a human day."

The move was backed by Labour MP for Colne Valley Thelma Walker, with others calling it a "perfect response to hate and bigotry".

An urgent question was raised in the House of Commons on Monday by Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, giving details of the letters that were said to have been received in Bradford, Leicester, London, Cardiff and Sheffield.

Counter Terrorism Policing North East previously said it had received reports of "potentially malicious communications sent to individuals across the UK" and told anyone who had received one to contact their local police force.

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