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Rushanara Ali, Rupa Huq targeted with anti-Muslim letters

  • Published at 10:36 am March 14th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:13 am March 15th, 2018
Rushanara Ali, Rupa Huq targeted with anti-Muslim letters
Two Bangladesh-origin MPs are among four Muslim lawmakers in the UK House of Commons to have been targeted with suspicious packages containing “Punish a Muslim Day” letters as well as a mysterious sticky liquid. Rushanara Ali, who represents Bethnal Green and Bow in east London, and Rupa Huq, the member for Ealing Central and Acton, received the packages in their parliamentary offices at the Palace of Westminster in London. Huq said it had been a “scary experience” after one of her staff members who opened the package was hospitalized as a precaution before being discharged. “There is a definite pattern… Totally unacceptable for Muslim MPs to face this,” said Huq. “It’s worrying that these things are getting through security screening because I know it’s very vigorously screened. Someone out there thinks it’s open season on Muslims.” According to police, the package contained a “low level” noxious substance as well as the offensive anti-Muslim letter which had been received by a number of households across the UK over the weekend. A number of people have also received anonymous letters calling on the recipients to attack Muslims. People in Bradford, Leicester, London, Cardiff and Sheffield reported receiving the notes, printed on A4 paper, according to The Guardian. The letter incites verbal abuse and assaults on Muslims, as well as attacks on mosques, declaring April 3 as “Punish a Muslim Day.” It asks people to carry out violent acts including verbal abuse, the removal of a woman’s hijab, physical assault, and using acid as a weapon. The two other Muslim MPs who received similar packages containing the offensive letter were Pakistani-origin Labour party MPs Afzal Khan and Mohammad Yasin. “The letter calling for attacks on Muslim is just the latest example of rising Islamophobia and deplorable hate crimes in this country,” said another Labour MP, Yasmin Qureshi. She raised an urgent question in the House of Commons on Monday calling on the UK government to do more to tackle such “incitement to violence and help prevent the growth of such extreme views.” Scotland Yard said specialist officers had been sent to the scene to assess the packages. “No evacuation has taken place,” a Metropolitan Police statement said. Britain’s counter-terrorism officers were investigating after the letters were sent to a string of locations across the country.   This article was first published on banglatribune.com  
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