Counter-terrorism police are investigating after letters urging people to attack Muslims were posted across the country.
West Yorkshire Police had around six reports of letters advertising “Punish a Muslim Day” and social media users have reported receiving the letters in Birmingham.
But Black Country MP Ian Austin (Lab Dudley North) had the perfect response – which he shared with MPs.
He told the House of Commons: “What makes you British is not what you look like, where your parents were from or how you worship, but the contribution that you make to our country.
“And nowhere, Mr Speaker, has the contribution made by British Muslims been greater than in the West Midlands.
“Which is why I’ll be spending April 3, which has been identified as this day of hate, visiting as many mosques and community centres as possible across the region, to ensure Muslims across the West Midlands have my support and solidarity.
“To show them that I am on their side, and I hope other members in this House will be doing the same.”
Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins said she hoped other members of the House of Commons would follow his example.
The letters prompted an urgent question in the House of Commons, and were condemned by MPs from all parties.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry said there should be a legal definition of Islamaphobia, to make it easier for police and courts to deal with.
She said: “This isn’t really a hate crime. This is actually an act of blatant incitement to terrorism.
“The time has now come for a proper legal definition of Islamophobia.”
Ms Atkins said: “The Government condemns the content of these letters as clearly abhorrent with no place in decent society.”
The offensive messages were sent to a string of locations across the country with five police forces – West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and the Metropolitan Police – all receiving reports.
Highlighted by anti-abuse service Tell Mama UK, the letters offer “points” for committing different violent acts against Muslims.
Counter Terrorism Policing North East is leading the investigation into the messages.
Head of the unit Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden said: “We take religious hatred extremely seriously and my officers will be carrying out a full and thorough investigation in response to these reports.
“These letters seek to cause fear and offence among our Muslim communities. They also seek to divide us. Yet in spite of this our communities have shown strength in their response to such hatred and in their support for each other.
“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of such an offence to contact their local police force on 101. We’d also appeal to anyone with any information about the individual, or individuals, responsible to call police in confidence on 0800 789 321.”