The Primate of the Church in Wales, Archbishop John Davies, has spoken out to condemn a social media campaign set up to encourage attacks on Muslims. The #PunishAMuslim day is being promoted on Twitter and other social media platforms. And it is being spread by an anonymous letter-writing campaign.
At the time of writing, the hashtag is a top-trending topic on Twitter, with more than 28,000 separate tweets containing the search string – mostly condemning the campaign. It has prompted security forces and police services to step up security around mosques in New York and other parts of the world.
Archbishop John Davis described the campaign as an incitement to hatred and discrimination. In a letter to the Muslim Council of Wales (MCW), he said: “Like many others, I have been astonished and outraged at the suggestion that people engage in a Punish a Muslim Day. Be assured that I join with them in condemning such an utterly deplorable suggestion.”
He encoruaged Christians in Wales to take part in a community solidarity event organised by the MCW earlier Wednesday in Cardiff, saying: “I deplore the actions of those responsible for the letter campaign encouraging people to ‘Punish a Muslim’. It is disgraceful and an incitement to both racial and religious intolerance, the like of which have no legitimate place in our society.
Speaking ahead of today’s event, he encouraged people to attend it, or similar events, saying that they “enable right-thinking people to show their peaceful condemnation of prejudice and discrimination.”
A spokesperson for the MCW said, “Whilst there is no evidence that this letter has been posted to Welsh addresses, it has been electronically spread and we would like to give assurances to the Muslim community to go on with their daily life on the day and also encourage the wider community to be united against hate and bigotry.”