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The Strange Case of the Punishment Day That Didn't Happen

by Chauncey Tinker – 4 Apr 2018

What a difference a day makes, as the old song goes. Just yesterday, many Muslims throughout the UK were presumably afraid to go out of the house for fear of Islamophobic attacks. Today, the sun is shining, all is calm, and everybody can relax again. Yesterday, the UK media were publishing articles all over the place, whipping up hysteria about a so-called #PunishAMuslimDay that had been promised in letters that had been sent to many Muslim MPs and other people (allegedly) in the UK. Today there is no mention anywhere in the media of this punishment day that was supposed to be happening yesterday. There are no reports of any casualties, at least that I can find. There weren’t even any reported sightings of the phantom fake hijab tugger who has haunted tube trains and university campuses in the past, almost pulling hijabs off and almost stealing purses. Of course I could be speaking too soon, but I rather suspect that the mainstream media would have been very quick to pounce on any story that appeared to confirm that the punishment day was being acted out.

This BBC article (published on the day) appears to show the scale of anxiety that the letter created:

Communities unite to defy ‘Punish a Muslim Day’

Quotes:

#PunishAMuslimDay and counter-hashtag #LoveAMuslimDay, as well as #WeStandTogether, are trending with more than 42,000 tweets sent, many urging Muslims to ignore the threats.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “At this time there is no credible information to suggest there is any criminal activity that will take place.
….

The organisation Tell Mama, which monitors anti-Muslim hate crime, told the BBC it had passed to the police evidence of about 20 cases of individuals who received letters referring to “Punish A Muslim Day“.

Practically every mainstream media outlet also had an article on the story.

So why was all this needless anxiety created? What was the point of it all? As always I think we have to ask the question – “cui bono”, who benefits? My own suspicion is that a person or persons unknown concocted the letter with the intention of encouraging the impression that Muslims are the victims of much hatred and animosity in the UK.

As the day progressed it seems to have passed entirely without any incident at all. The truth has been once again shown for all to see – that the citizens of the United Kingdom are among the most peaceful and tolerant people in the world! Even the vast majority of those who (like me) are harsh critics of the Islamic religion are not in the least inclined towards committing violent acts against the religion’s followers. Nonetheless, there was doubtless some small risk that a small number of people might have acted on the incitements contained in the letter. Whoever is found to have produced these letters should be prosecuted.

On March 11, fahrenheit211 wrote about the letter in question:

The ‘Muslim Slayer’ letters story smells very very fishy

The article notes that the campaign group Tell MAMA were mentioned in most news articles about the letter, as they were in the BBC article I mentioned above. The article questions whether this group the letter was supposedly written by has ever made an appearance before now:

I can find no other evidence from web searches using different search engines that the sword and MS symbol that was on the letter is connected to any other credibly dangerous group

….

I don’t believe, based on the information that I’ve been able to uncover about it, that this letter constitutes a credible threat from a credibly dangerous group

The article also questions why the Tell MAMA group seem to be the conduit for most of the information on the story – why weren’t the police getting the information directly from the victims?

Stranger still, two of the MPs who claim to have received the letters personally have chosen to post the exact same image on social media that was already published earlier in the media. For example, Sajid Javid posted the image on the 15th March with the single hashtag “#fanmail” in a tweet, suggesting that the image showed the letter that he had personally received. When asked to confirm this he replied “Yep” in the replies to the tweet. Yet this exact same image had been circulating at least as far back as the 7th or 9th, a number of days before. fahrenheit211 also looks at this curious fact in another article:

Is Sajid Javid being economical with the truth?

Sajid Javid is involved in the funding of the Tell MAMA group according to the article:

Mr Javid’s primary responsibilities are to look after issues pertaining to local government and other related matters, but he also has ultimate responsibility for grants handed out to various taxpayer funded groups that the DCLG supports

None of the doubts expressed above were shared by the “fact-checking” website Snopes. They published this article:

‘Punish a Muslim Day’ Fliers Spur Warnings, Police Investigations

Well, if counter terrorism officers are on the case it shouldn’t be long before the truth about the letters is known, I presume! Quote from this article:

According to the Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) web site, copies of the flier were received in London, the Midlands, and Yorkshire.

Snopes, the “fact-checking” website, quotes its main source as being Tell MAMA at the end of the article. It doesn’t appear however that they did any fact-checking on the story themselves at all.

Finally, fahrenheit211 has today published an open letter to Tell MAMA which points out that a very significant amount of police and parliamentary time has been wasted over this letter which seems to have turned out to be at worst in fact nothing but an amateurish hoax:

Hoax! An open letter to Tell Mama regarding ‘Punish a Muslim Day’

Quote:

These outcomes are not only something that your organisation should be truly ashamed about and make public repentance for, but also show why your organisation is not a fit recipient of £1.9 Million of taxpayer’s money

Just let that sink in – that’s £1.9 Million of your money to fund this organization. As fahrenheit211 has revealed in the past, contrary to what many people believe the Tell MAMA organisation’s funding from the taxpayer continues:

Tell Mama wasting taxpayers money. A government minister responds.

The impression that this funding had ended was created by this article published in the Daily Telegraph in 2013:

Muslim hate monitor to lose backing

The Tell MAMA group is also still being quoted routinely in the MSM, despite the fact that the group was discredited by the DT article above.

ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB:

Some of the other articles that appeared in the MSM:

From the Guardian:

UK communities take action against ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letter

From the Sun (notice the date 9th March, the image is the same one Sajid Javid posted):

‘PUNISH A MUSLIM DAY’ Muslim MPs and public sent letters promoting sick ‘game’ where players get 1000 points for ‘burning a mosque’ by mysterious ‘Last Soldiers of Christ’ group

From the Daily Mail (Follow them: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook):

Muslim women are told to hide their hijabs and not to pick up children from school alone ahead of sick ‘Punish A Muslim Day’

From the Manchester Evening News:

A cafe owner has come up with the best response to ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ flyers

From the Evening Standard:

‘Punish a Muslim day’ letters: London police urge communities to unite against threats

From the Independent in mid March:

Cabinet minister Sajid Javid becomes latest MP to receive abusive ‘Punish a Muslim’ letter

Something that perhaps should be causing more genuine concern was however reported on the day, from Breitbart:

Terror Arrests in Dewsbury Muslim Enclave Home to ‘Army of Darkness’ Radical Group

What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

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