A prominent Islamic organisation has called upon Muslims in Britain to engage with the wider community after the recent terrorist attacks against mosques.
Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has urged Muslims in the UK to get involved with their communities after the Islamophobic backlash as a result of the murder of British soldier, Lee Rigby on May 22 in Woolwich south east London.
In a press release issued on Monday, iERA stated: “The cases of attacks against Muslims and vandalism against mosques on the rise, coupled with increased tension and feeling of distrust towards Muslims, it is imperative that we as a community reach out to our neighbours and explain what our beautiful religion actually teaches.
“It is with this situation in mind, that the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has embarked on a project entitled ‘Right up Your Street’ to empower Muslims to give dawah to their neighbours during the blessed month of Ramadan. iERA has produced 100,000 booklets which individual Muslims can give out to their neighbours thereby introducing them to Islam and in turn fostering good and lasting relationships.”
iERA has also advised mosques to give talks on the importance of presenting Islam with a view to motivating each member of their congregation to take a set of booklets and give them to their neighbours. The main objective of this is for Muslims to start a healthy dialogue with their non-Muslim neighbours by inviting them around for ifthar.
During Ramadan, iERA members, students and activists have been travelling across Britain, visiting mosques, informing and motivating worshipers to take and distribute specific booklets for their neighbours. The organisation stated that this will help “positive interaction and the fuel of ignorance can be dispelled and thereby enable Muslims to be part of a cohesive and vibrant society”.
Woolwich murder and Islamophobia
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Since the murder of Lee Rigby, Islamophobic attacks have increased across Britain. Numerous mosques and Islamic centres have been fire bombed and targeted with bombs.
A mosque in Braintree, Essex and Gillingham, Kent was attacked on the evening of the Woolwich murder. A mosque in Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre was fire bombed within days of the of the Woolwich incident. Al Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill, North London was torched to the ground with “EDL” painted on its walls. Darul Uloom in Chislehurst, Greater London was also set on fire weeks after the Woolwich attack.
A Muslim cemetery was desecrated with Islamophobic graffiti in Newport, Wales in June and an Islamic centre in Kirkcaldy, Scotland was also vandalised the night before the start of Ramadan.
A bomb was left at Aisha Mosque in Walsall on June 21 and at Kanz ul-Iman Jamia Mosque in Tipton on July 12 just after jummah prayers. Wolverhampton Central Mosque was also evacuated on July 18 after an explosive device was discovered next to the building.
Ukrainian student, Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday accused of stabbing Mohammed Saleem, 82, to death in Small Heath, Birmingham and preparing terrorism acts against three mosques in the West Midlands.