Campaign Launched in UK to Improve The Image of Islam

I can’t be entirely sure but I remember that I took a part in the survey about the image of Islam in UK last year. There are tens of questions I had to answer and I was surprised to find out that even I have a negative image about Islam myself, both in UK and in my country of Indonesia. I have forgotten about this until I read the article in Skynews:

clipped from news.sky.com

A campaign to improve the image of Islam has been launched after an opinion poll found that more than half of British people associate the religion with extremism and terrorism.
“Inspired by Muhammad” aims to promote Islam as a faith which contributes positively to British society.

Posters of Muslims with captions like: “I believe in rights for women… so did Muhammad” will feature at bus stops, Tube stations and on London cabs.

It is a reaction to a YouGov poll which found that 58% of the British population surveyed associated Islam with extremism, 50% associate it with terrorism and 68% feel the religion encourages the repression of women.

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According to Wikipedia, “today Islam is the second largest religion in all four countries of the UK with recent estimates suggesting a total Muslim population as high as 2.4 million,mostly due to considerable immigration from former colonies from the 1950s.” So unfortunately, the prominent image of Islam in UK is blurred with the culture and traditions from such countries, like Pakistan (forced – or arranged – marriage, for example, is still commonly applied in the British Pakistani community and is a widespread problem). Not to mention that following the terrorist attacks on London in 2005 and the attempted attack on Glasgow airport in 2007, there has been an anti-Islamic feeling in some parts of Britain.

The Inspiring By Muhammad website looks colourful, young, and friendly. It covers several important topics like social justice, women’s rights, charity, education, even animal welfare. The website also explores in detail about the Prophet Muhammad.

This is a movement that I have been waiting for so long. Islam has been slapped with bad publicity for decades and desperately needs a balanced, positive PR. I just wish that Indonesia as the largest muslim nation in the world can follow the act. It would be much better rather than ranting in twitter and collecting ‘millions of virtual fans’ in Facebook , no?

Comments

  1. i agree great move! unfortunately attitudes of many here in the US are similar to those in the UK…
    john recently posted…FacebookMy Profile

  2. It is good news indeed.

    Of course stereotyping and prejudice in the UK and the rest of Western Europe, is a plague. A combination of ignorance, fear,scapegoating and demagogue politicians. Though unfortunately the agrfessive track record by a loud minority didn’t do any good to the religion’s reputation either.

    To me it is not so much the campaign as such ( though it definitely may help a little bit) which is great, but rather that a group home bred Muslims publicly and systematically distance themselves from the ways and habits of a mediaeval culture and seem to embrace mainstream culture in the UK.

  3. John: it will take more than the website to improve the image of Islam, but it’s better than nothing at all.

    Colson: yes, it’s actually a brave move. I read an article about the peer pressure in the British Muslim (particularly Pakistani) society and just to “distance” themselves means they are against their families, friends, and everyone they know. What I don’t agree so far is that the UK government haven’t pushed the migrants to adapt and assimilate. Many of them still don’t speak English and live their lives as if they are still in their ‘home’ countries, which makes them always think that UK, in return, is somewhat temporary.

  4. That is a great movements and if only our country can embrace it with an open mind and launch something like this wouldn’t be great?
    I adore Irshad Manji for her fights to change the image of Islam today.
    Maureen recently posted…7 Things I Learned From Sex and The CityMy Profile

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