CAIRO - Dispelling misconceptions linking Islam to violence, Muslims marched through Wales' largest city of Cardiff to promote the true image of the Islamic faith, Wales Online reported Monday, May 14.
Right now, Cardiff has been in the media because of Muslims for the wrong reasons, Zane Abdo, imam of the Alice Street Mosque, said.
I want to put Muslims in Cardiff in the limelight for the right reasons.
Starting from the mosque, scores of Muslims marched Sunday through Butetown in Cardiff to promote the image of their faith.
The march was held in honor of late Muslim leader Sheikh Said Hassan Ismail, who was credited for helping the community for over six decades.
All ages took part. Some were very young - my little daughter is a year and a half - while some of the elders were in their 70s, he said.
And it was people of different faiths. There were Muslims and Christians and people who did not believe in anything.
Granted, there were not great numbers, the majority were of Islamic faith.
Cardiff, the largest city in Wales, is home to 25,000 Muslims.
Britain is home of a sizable Muslim minority of 2.5 million.
The Muslim imam said that the march aimed to dispel myths linking Islam to violence.
What we did today was a big step in rejecting extremism, he said.
When people are happy and walking around and smiling and coming together, that reduces extremism and pushes it to the fringes, where it should be.
Welsh Muslims came under pressures after the arrest of a Cardiff man on suspicion of terror funding earlier this month.
It followed the arrest of three men in February over an alleged plot to carry out attacks in the United Kingdom.
This march was a reflection of the true nature of the community and what this community is about, Abdo said.
I hope that the media will do it justice and give credit to what we did today.
The Muslim leader said that more marches will be planned to promote the true image of Islam.
This is something that Cardiff really needs, he said.
We are going to continue this - it is just the first.When we have festivals we are going to march in the street and encourage people, whether Muslims or not, to participate like they used to.