Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) do so much to ‘give back’ to the people of Scunthorpe ,A group of young Muslims have donated gifts and essential items to vulnerable people and cleaned the streets of Scunthorpe in a bid to break stigma and bring people together.Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), which was established in 2000 and has around 40 members in Scunthorpe, donated Christmas gifts to nurses and children on the Disney Ward at Scunthorpe General Hospital. On New Year’s Day, 15 members – equipped with bin bags, litter-picking sticks and high-vis jackets – met in Scunthorpe town centre to take part in a clean-up operation in a bid to keep Britain tidy, an activity that has become an annual tradition for AMYA groups across the country.
Kamran Muzaffar, AMYA Scunthorpe Youth Team Mentor, said the reaction to their recent efforts from people in the town has been “really, really positive”. “We do the clean-up every year, but at the end of last year it was the biggest effort we made to give presents and gifts to different members of the community, like the police, ambulance service, hospital staff, homeless people, poorly children and care home and hospice residents,” he said. “The reaction has been really, really positive. One of the best things is that we got to see the kids at the hospital wards and even the parents got really emotional because it’s a time where everyone is with their families and it’s the worst time of the year to be in hospital, so it really cheers them up. They do really, really appreciate it and that’s one of the things that gives us the energy to keep on doing what we do.”
Kamran said a primary reason that the group do what they do is to “break the stigma” around Islam and faith in general. He continued: “There’s a lot of different myths and stigma around not just Muslims but faith in general, about how it’s not inclusive and separates people, so we’re trying to change that and bring people together and show that faith does involve other things apart from religious theories. “We want to help people around us and build good relationships, it’s a fundamental part of our faith and we think it’s a really good way for kids to engage in the community and find their role in society.” In recent weeks, the group have also helped to fundraise for Marie Curie and The Poppy Appeal, and even laid the wreath on Remembrance Day to show their “united front with the community”.
“It’s one of the eight pillars of our faith, to have a connection with people. It’s not just about being good Muslims but we have to help the people we’re with and show we can make a difference,” Kamran said. “At a time when we need unity and togetherness, this is a great opportunity to bring people together from different walks of life to serve the country in which we live in as one team. Islam teaches us that ‘loyalty to your nation is part of your faith’ and this is something which I and my fellow young Muslims strive to live by every single day.”