Police are currently carrying on a hate crime investigation after anonymous letters threatening acid attacks were sent to Muslims in Bradford, reported BBC.
The letter, headed with an England flag and sword says, “Kill Scum Muslims. Why do Muslim woman wear burkas?” The police said they were taking the threats “extremely seriously”, the Guardian reports, and have also increased patrol over Hanover Square, a majorly Muslim area where two residents received the letters last week.
The literature shows an image of a sword and St George’s flag, “We are now going to do acid attacks on anyone who wears the funny black masks around your square & Bradford & other places.” It alleges that “three of ur male pigs” were grooming four white girls, then states: “We know who the three male pigs are they are walking dead pigs.”
Police carried out extra patrol over bank holiday weekend on Hanover Square, in the Manningham area of Bradford near the city centre.
Naz Shah, the Bradford West MP, said she had reported the letters to police on Saturday. Shah also stated that while serious, it appeared to be a “very isolated” incident.
Mohammed Qayd, 27, one of the recipients of the letter said that his mother was terrified that she would be targeted, and that the threats had come “completely out of the blue”. “I was shocked. My mum wears a burqa, and she goes to town regularly, so I was concerned for her. When I explained it to her she realised the severity of it and was afraid. You start thinking whether it’s safe for them to go out on their own.”
Another recipient also told the Guardian, that the letter could raise tension before a planned English Defence League march in Bradford on Saturday, which coincides with Eid celebrations. He said: “The police mentioned the EDL will be marching. It can worry you if you really think about it – what if they’re something to do with it? But the EDL have come and gone before, sometimes something tends to happen. It could erupt, you see.”
“Eid could be Friday or Saturday – a lot of times we’ll all be out to families, people go out to restaurants in the town centre. There’s always that chance something could happen.”
A West Yorkshire police spokesperson said: “A thorough investigation has been launched and officers are working with the local community and partners to identify and prosecute those responsible for this despicable crime. “We understand the impact hate crime and hate incidents can have on our communities and on individuals, and crimes of this nature will not be tolerated.”
Nadeem Murtuja, the chair of advocacy group Just Yorkshire, which was set up to restore race relations after the Bradford riots in 2001, said he was extremely concerned that Muslims were having to shave their beards or remove hijabs as a result of Islamaphobic threats. “This is a time for calm heads and people in positions of power, locally and nationally, need to become more visible in their stance towards protecting the human rights of all communities, including the Muslim community.”
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