UK Muslims distribute Koran in response to anti-Islam film
With violent protests escalating around the world over the video "Innocence of Muslims”, a Muslim organisation in the United Kingdom decided to react in a very different way: by distributing copies of the Koran in English to non-Muslims, with the aim of countering prejudice against Islam.
Photos of the Koran distribution, which have been widely shared on social networks, contrast sharply with those of the violent protests of the past week – they show young Muslim volunteers distributing free Korans in a shopping centre in London.
Behind this initiative is the organisation Discover Islam, whose goal is to educate non-Muslims in the United Kingdom about their faith. It works mainly with learning institutions (schools and universities) and public libraries, giving talks and putting on exhibits that convey a positive image of Islam.
"Our goal is not to convert people, but simply to ask them to read about Islam for themselves"
Naif Sheikh is a volunteer with Discover Islam.
We began distributing literature about Islam in mid-August, not long after the video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was published on the Internet, and weeks before it caused an uproar around the world. We have distributed tens of thousands of books, including the Koran and other books recounting the life of the Prophet Muhammad and explaining Islamic precepts, all in English.
These distributions take place in London and in its suburbs, as well as in Cambridge and in several other cities in the United Kingdom. We go to public places like shopping malls and libraries. Our goal is not to convert people, but simply to ask them to read about Islam for themselves, instead of listening to everything people say about it. Our goal is to educate. So our discussions with passers-by are relaxed and enjoyable. The people we encounter are usually very receptive, and rarely turn down the books we offer them. (continue reading...)