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Love answers Punish a Muslim hate campaign

  • 05 April 2018


Punish A Muslim Day on 3 April 2018 has come and gone. The campaign was promoted by an anonymous pamphlet that appeared last month, which included a list of violent acts (such as throwing acid at a Muslim, or blowing up a mosque) with each act deemed to be worth a certain number of points.

While we won't know for a few months if there was a statistical increase in the number of reported attacks on Muslims (or those who look suspiciously like Muslims — Sikhs, Arab Christians, bearded Greek Orthodox priests, random Brown people) on or around the day, that is beside the point.

After all, nuclear bombs are a little tricky for the average Islamophobe to acquire; no-one seriously expected Mecca to disappear in a mushroom cloud, earning whoever pushed the big red button a granddaddy prize of 2500 points.

I'm sure the authors of the Punish A Muslim Day list, who first circulated it around major UK cities with large Muslim populations, hoped some idiots might attempt to rip off a few hijabs here and there, thus giving substance to the myth of a silent — and silenced — majority of Muslim-haters.

But the real purpose of the anonymous leaflet was to reiterate a message of stigma and exclusion.

Such hatred is simply the pointy end of the same message being pushed by Murdoch media (without the ostensible call to actual acts of individual violence) when they run headline after headline about Sydney University students being taught shari?a, Yassmin Abdel-Magied's latest apparently unAustralian statement, or no-go zones where Islam runs rampant.

It is the same message spouted by Pauline Hanson declaring that Islam is a disease that Australians need to vaccinate themselves against while praying for a Muslim-ban.


"We need to hear voices that say following Islam is not a disease; that modest fashion can be as Australian as bikinis and thongs; and that our religious, cultural and ethnic diversity is a beautiful strength."


Or Tony Abbott, dog-whistling about Islam's violence problem and Muslims' failure to denounce it, and decrying the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for supporting an Australian Muslim modest-fashion exhibition, as not in keeping with modern Australian values.

It is the same message of lobby groups like the UK's influential LeaveEU who, on the very day nominated as Punish A Muslim Day, tweeted a picture of London's first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, superimposed on top of the East London mosque and worshippers