An Islamic leaflet campaign across London is hoping to build bridges and restore the image of Prophet Muhammed.
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from the Baitul Futuh Mosque, Morden, are door-knocking and distributing informational flyers to educate people on the religion.
The campaign was prompted when the controversial 14-minute film ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ went viral on Youtube in July.
The community believed that the video depicted Islam as a religion of violence and hate, and Muhammad as power-hungry.
Basharat Nazir, national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya community, explained that many were deeply upset by this misrespresentation.
He said: “This kind of vulgar portrayal created unrest among the Muslim world. It was very disturbing, and really tore up my family, friends and me.”
The Baitul Fuhul Mosque is the largest mosque complex in Western Europe, with the Ahmadiyya being a leading group.
Mr Nazir explained that the community, which has been established in the UK for 99 years, has always been based around peaceful protesting.
“The film was made to provoke but we wanted to respond with reason,” he argued.
“We want to use peaceful communication to show the correct image of Islam.”
Over 14,000 of the leaflets, which outline the life of the prophet, have been distributed in over 30 London branches, particularly in south west London.
By distributing them personally, people were invited to ask further questions on the campaign and religion as a whole.
Mr Nazir said: “A small minority believe the media’s often misconstrued accounts of Islam and it is a big shame.”
However, the group announced that the campaign has been very successful so far.
“We are often met by quite friendly people who praise us for our work and want to join us,” he said.
With help from other mosques and volunteers, the association hope to continue the campaign across Britain.
Mr Nazir explained: “We know it will be a big task but we are already reaping the rewards. It has been very worthwhile so far and it is only the beginning.
“We are not asking people to agree with us, but just to listen.”
The Ahmadiyya community will hold an exhibition called “Muhammad – A Mercy for Mankind” on 7 November at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden.
See https://ahmadiyyauk.org for more information.