CAIRO - Expanding their outreach to non-Muslim neighbors, Muslim women and children in the British city of Newcastle have distributed flowers to shoppers in an effort to show love and unity with fellow citizens.
We wanted to do this after all the recent events that have been reported in the media since the Woolwich murder, Nusrat Ahmed, from Newcastle, told The Journal.People have got quite a negative view of Islam and this is not a true representation of Islam so we wanted to get together to give out roses to people to show that Islam is actually about peace, love and unity.
We just want to make people smile.
Standing in Newcastle's Northumberland Street on Monday, Muslim women and children handed out 500 roses to shoppers in a bid to show love and unity.
Muslims say their effort is meant to correct the misrepresented image of Islam by showing people the truth of their faith as about peace, love and unity.
British Muslims have been in the eye of storm since the machete killing of an army soldier by two converts of immigrant origin in Woolwich, near London, last month.
According to Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks in Britain, 212 anti-Muslim incidents have been reported after the Woolwich attack.
The figure included 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti-Muslim sentiments.
On Saturday, three Muslim worshippers were stabbed after the night prayers in Birmingham.
A fire also gutted the Darul Uloom Islamic school in Foxbury Avenue in south-east London last week, a blaze described by the police as suspicious.
It came after a suspected arson attack on an Islamic centre in north London.
Initials of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) was found scrawled on the side of that building.
Going through the experience of Woolwich killing and the reprisal attacks that followed, Newcastle Muslims thought it was time to unite people of their community.
It's kind of divided people with these mosque attacks, said Tina McGovern, who helped organize the event in Newcastle.
We wanted to bring back the feeling of community and not let atrocities like these divide us.
Inspired by Newcastle Muslim ladies, similar events have been held in other cities in a bid to return communities to unity.
The flowers were accompanied by cards carrying notes with quotations from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him)
One of the messages read: A saying of the Prophet Muhammad: Give gifts to one another as a gift removes bad feeling from the heart'.
The Muslim roses were accepted by shoppers as a gesture of goodwill
We had been thinking about doing it for a while and we just felt now we needed to do something, said Nusrat.
People in Newcastle are really open to these kinds of things and it has been received really well.Britain is home to a Muslim community of nearly 2.7 million.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net