Edinburgh protest planned against anti-Muslim hate campaign
3 April 2018, 06:33
An anti-racism campaign group is holding a protest against a hate campaign urging people to "punish a Muslim".
Stand Up To Racism Edinburgh will hold a Stand Up To Islamophobia Day event in Scotland's capital city on Tuesday, one of a series of similar events across Britain.
The protest aims to counteract the twisted social media and letter hate campaign which allocates points for crimes against Muslims.
Among the speakers at the event on the Mound between 5.30pm and 6.30pm are Scottish Trades Union Congress president Satnam Ner and Leith Labour councillor Gordon Munro.
The Muslim Women's Association is encouraging people to get involved with their Love A Muslim Day campaign on the same date.
A spokeswoman said: "We are asking supporters to post positive messages to Muslims on social media throughout the day on Tuesday April 3.
"The perpetrator of the hate letter is inciting hatred and violence and this act must be prosecuted as a hate crime.
"Sending poison pen letters has always been a very serious crime precisely because of the distress it causes, and the fact that the author is anonymous is disgusting cowardice.
"To counter the negative and distressing effect on Muslim friends in England receiving the hate letter we are focusing on bringing our communities together on April 3 by inviting everyone to combat Islamophobia online using hashtags #NoToIslamophobia #RageAgainstRacism.
"We call on our political representatives to support anti-racist campaigns and make sure 2018 is the year we stamp out such bigotry."
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has condemned the hate campaign after Labour's Anas Sarwar raised it at Holyrood, saying Scotland will "stand united" against it.
Police have advised people to go about their daily lives but remain vigilant, and have committed a "substantial" response to dealing with the campaign.
Muhammad Adrees, convener of the Muslim Council of Scotland, said the letters, which police said have not been sent to anyone in Scotland, have already triggered Islamophobic incidents.
Mr Sarwar said Glasgow's ethnic minority communities have been alerted to allegations of five serious hate crimes in 10 days, including an allegation that a schoolboy asked a young girl if he could pull her hijab off and film it to earn "points" for the campaign.
Other incidents are said to include a woman allegedly being punched in the face outside a supermarket, and another woman allegedly racially abused by three men and assaulted on a train.