YASMIN Qureshi has demanded government action after the circulation of a vile letter encouraging people to take part in ‘Punish a Muslim Day’.

The MP for Bolton South East was granted an urgent question to Victoria Atkins, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Home Department.

The missive calls for an attack on Muslims on April 3 and offers ‘rewards’, such as 10 points for verbal abuse, 50 points for throwing acid and 1,000 points for bombing a mosque.

Ms Qureshi said figures show a rise in the number of Islamophobic hate crimes , while recent surveys revealed 50 per cent of the British British population believed Islam was a threat to western democracy.

And she challenged the under-secretary of state to explain what the government was doing to tackle the ‘growth in extremism’.

She said: “Given that such anti-Muslim views have gained such traction, what are the government going to do to help to prevent the growth of such extreme views, which appear to have come from parts of the print, broadcast and social media?

“What concrete steps are the government going to take to tackle this growth in hate crimes and hatred against Muslims? Will the minister set out the amount of funding provided by the Home Office to tackle each form of bigotry?”

In reply, Miss Atkins said the government wanted to give a strong message of support to Muslim people across the UK and to reassure them it was committed to their safety and security.

She said: “I say to anyone who has received this letter, or a similar communication, please contact the police, where you will be treated with utmost seriousness and action will be taken.

“The issue of anti-Muslim and far right extremism is of course a focus for the government. The Prevent strategy tackles extremism. It does not tackle Muslim extremism in and of itself, it tackles extremism, full stop.

Sadly, more than a quarter of referrals in 2015-16 concerned far right extremism.”

And Ms Atkins added that the government would be refreshing its hate crime action plan this year.