BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Takoma Park Police say a resident of the city received a ‘Punish A Muslim Day’ flyer.
The flyers have been circulating online in the United States and abroad. They offer “points” for hateful acts and violence targeting Muslims on April 3, 2018. The acts include verbal abuse, throwing acid, beating and torture, and even murder.
Almost 100 Muslims attended a leadership symposium in Annapolis Tuesday. The Council on American Islamic Relations organized the event.
“I don’t think we need to hide. I don’t think we need to put that fear in our children. I think they need to be able to come out as Muslims, they should be proud,” said Rasha Alkhateeb who attended the event.
The organization said some parents pulled their children from participating in Tuesday’s event in Annapolis.
Police say the hate-filled flyer landed in the Facebook Messenger inbox of a Takoma Park Muslim resident, but police say the sender is a mystery.
Could be someone who just thinks it’s funny and it starts circulating and it got a wider audience, could be a group of people, we just don’t know,” said Cathy Plevy of the Takoma Park Police Department.
“The whole concept behind Punish a Muslim Day was to attract fear, to punish Muslims, but the opposite happened, a lot of people backed up Muslims, they stood with them, they showed their solidarity,” said Samiyah Hira, who was in Annapolis.
The flyer gained attention from London to the U.S., but Tuesday afternoon another topic took over Twitter. The hashtag #LoveAMuslim was a top trend.
“We are unapologetic, we are unafraid, we are proud of our identity as American Muslims,” Dr. Zainab Chaudry of CAIR.
Police encourage anyone who feels they are in danger to call the department immediately at 301-270-1100. They ask residents to stay vigilant and look out for the flyers either in the mail or through social media.