The rumored “Punish a Muslim” day on April 3rd in Michigan went from spreading hatred against Muslims to a day of spreading love and the value of coexistence.
The Yemeni American News
This was proven even by non-Muslims who exemplified with their positive reactions toward this call for violence reiterating that Islam is a religion of peace and against terrorism.
An anonymous group designated April 3rd of this year as a day for escalating violence against Muslims everywhere, in the so-called “Punish a Muslim Day”, where social media messages included threats as well as commands to attack Muslims wherever they might be and get imaginary points for doing so.
April 3rd is not the only day where Arabs or Muslims in the West get attacked. Racists have used every opportunity to threaten and attack Muslims and even in the heart of the Arab and Muslim American community. A Muslim woman who wears the ‘Hijab’ which is the Islamic attire for women was assaulted by a man at Beaumont hospital just this past March in Dearborn, MI. Many described it as a hate crime and an early call to ‘punish Muslims’.
The 19-year-old victim was assaulted while speaking to a staff member at the hospital’s emergency office. The attacker came from the back and punished her on the face without any warning and was beaten several times with his fist. Immediately, the staff came to help her and free her from the severe beating. The attacker, named John Deliz, 57 years old, was then arrested and police records revealed that he had harassed others in the lobby before attacking the Muslim victim.
The media quoted Majed Moughni, the victim’s attorney saying “the incident could have been avoided if the security officer had not left the place, and the staff in the hospital had been watching this man”
“We want to hold them accountable for not protecting not only my client but also other patients,” Moughni added.
“Our first goal is to make sure no one is attacked in this way.”
According to press reports, a police officer who had said in his report on the incident: A security officer in the hospital told him that the attacker was wandering among those looking for cigarettes.
The hospital issued a statement on the incident stating that “Security personnel responded immediately to the hospital and took measures to protect the other patients in the emergency room. The police in Dearborn was also contacted. The staff fully cooperated in the investigation. We are offering our services to this diverse community. We want all patients to feel welcome…”
Dr. Mahdi Ali, President of the American Moslem Society (AMS) told the Yemeni American News “We have not received any notification or warning from our local Dearborn police that there is a real threat against our Muslim community. Therefore we did not take any further action on our part. We also did not want to spread fear in the community with information stemming from social media only.”
He added, “it’s true it was a scary day for some families and children which prevented some families from going out on that day, but we do not highly consider social media news, because most of it comes from individuals, not official organizations or security authorities.”
Community social and cultural activist AbdulJalil Ahmed told the American Yemeni News that he treated the day as any other day. He said “Social media is being negatively taken advantage and people spread many unrealistic things on the sites. This makes most what’s being posted not serious or real”
The younger son of AbdelJalil, Mohammed, decided to positively react to racist remarks especially after seeing the young woman who was assaulted in the hospital. He delivered a message to his classmates in English saying: “Be nice to someone, anyone, and don’t bring them down, if someone is being hurt, go help,and make food for neighbor and thank them.”
Ahmed Alwan, a community sports coach, told the Yemeni American News that fear was present on this day, but he advised his children to go out and practice their regular shores.
“Racism is there, but we have to confront it properly and inform security authorities and make the necessary precautions.”
He added “these threats are the responsibility of security first and foremost, and we as Muslims should not be afraid of any event or publication here and there. This does not worry me and my family because we live here in a safe and secure community.”
Wayne State University
One of the beautiful meanings revealed by this day is the expression of some Christians who sympathized with the Muslims, who presented a picture of what everyone should be in their tolerance and coexistence with each other. They turned the rumored event into “Love a Muslim Day” and showed it through giving away sweets at the Wayne State University campus.
A Wayne State University student, Hadeel Alturki said: “I spent my school day like any ordinary day, being in an environment that is homogenous in diversity, and my confidence that the vast majority of American citizens cannot accept such a ridiculous idea.” She also said, “In contrast, some colleagues distributed donuts, calling it ‘Love a Muslim Day’ which was very thoughtful of them.