In another wave of escalating Islamophobia in the UK, families living in London have reportedly received anonymous letters containing hate material targeting Muslims, titled ‘Punish A Muslim Day’. The proposed punishments range from ludicrous to barbaric acts of violence, highlighting the incident as a larger campaign of hatred against the Muslim community.

The violence is a chilling continuation of the series of Islamophobic attacks recurring in the past few years. UK has witnessed a fivefold increase in such confrontations since the London Bridge attack, growing more audacious and barefaced over the years and showing a substantial number of far-right, street level incidents as well as online harassment.

This surge in anti-Muslim sentiment has been a backlash of global and local terrorist incidents in recent years, further exacerbated by Brexit where pro-Brexit campaigners before the vote relied heavily on fear-mongering about Syrian refugees and Turkish immigrants leading to an explosion of faith-based hatred while far-right leaders increasingly justify such hate-crimes by referring to them as “revenge attacks”, legitimizing anti-Muslim sentiments.

What we should take away from such incidents is that the objective of this anti-Muslim campaign, like any fascist/faith-based act of violence, is to terrorize a religious minority in their everyday lives, attacking their places of worship, instilling a sense of constant fear and insecurity in an attempt to assert their dominance. Another huge contributing factor is how faith-based hate plays out on social media, where the Muslim community (or any other religious minority) in general gets hit with an onslaught of insults and threats that culminate into violence. An example is how after the 2015 Paris bombing, the hashtag #KillAllMuslims reportedly surged and spread on Twitter in the U.K. For that matter, we have an example right here at home that testifies to the use of social media to propagate hate and violence; the case of Ammar Ali Jan and Punjab University. Hopefully, we can learn something from the exemplary leadership of Mayor Sadiq Khan in such times.