In recent years, anti-Muslim sentiments have been on the rise in the United Kingdom, however, over the weekend, the hate manifested itself in the vilest way possible. 

People in different cities across the UK - including Leicester, London, Cardiff, Sheffield, and Bradford - reported receiving "Punish a Muslim Day" letters, printed on A4 paper. 

The letters dedicate a day - April 3 - for the spreading of hate towards Muslims, promising people rewards for committing certain acts of violence, from verbal to physical abuse.

For example, removing a woman's hijab is worth 25 points, murdering a Muslim is valued at 500 points, and bombing a mosque 1,000 points.

"Are you a sheep like the vast majority of the population?" the letter reads. 

"Sheep follow orders and are easily led. They are allowing the white-majority nations of Europe and North America to become overrun by those who would like nothing more than to do us harm and to turn our democracies into sharia-led police states."

The letters went viral on social media

"Imagine hating a religion, a race that much"

It ultimately lead to the spread of "Love a Muslim Day" campaign

The counter-hate campaign titled "Love a Muslim Day" began making the rounds online, promising people rewards for committing acts of kindness.

So, buying a Muslim a cup of coffee with cake is worth 25 points, inviting a Muslim to your home is worth 100 points, and buying a hajj package for a Muslim family is valued at 2,500 points. 

"They throw hate at us, we throw back mercy & love"

"The perfect way to respond to hatred is with kindness"

But, not everyone was happy about it

Activist group 'Tell Mama' said the threats were being treated with "the utmost seriousness"

Tell Mama, an activist group monitoring anti-Muslim activity, told Mirror the threats were being treated with the "utmost seriousness." 

Director of the organization, Iman Atta, said the letters "caused quite a lot of fear within the community," according to The Guardian. 

"They are asking if they are safe, if their children are safe to play outdoors. We have told them to keep calm and to phone the police if they receive one of these letters," Atta said.

Liberal Democrat, Riaz Ahmed, was among those who received the letter

A member of the council in the UK, Riaz Ahmed - a Liberal Democrat in Bradford - was sent the letter to his business address.

"It was not addressed to anyone, just the address and postcode as if it was sent out randomly. It has a second class stamp on the plain white envelope and the frank mark is Sheffield. It was posted yesterday," he said.

"It seems strange that anyone would send something like this to an address in a predominantly Muslim area. When I opened it and saw the content I was horrified."

The Metropolitan Police responds

Following the letters, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said it has zero tolerance for "any form of hate crime." 

"The MPS does not tolerate any form of hate crime. If anyone believes they have been a victim of such an offence we would encourage them to report it to police so it can be fully investigated."

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police also responded to the hate, confirming that the letters are currently being investigated.

"Police are investigating a number of reports of potentially malicious communications sent to individuals in the Bradford area."

Islamophobia in the UK

In 2017, a series of horrific acid attacks in East London left many of the city's Muslim residents in a state of panic.

"I've lived here for over ten years and I've never felt this unsafe. With the recent attacks outside mosques and everything circulating on social media, there's an obvious state of panic spreading among many in our community and it's just heartbreaking to see that," a 34-year-old medical resident and Londoner told StepFeed at the time.

In March 2017, a van driver struck Muslim worshippers who were leaving a mosque in north London. The assault left one man dead and injured at least 10 other pedestrians near the Finsbury Park mosque - one of the country's biggest mosques.