Muslim Snow Patrol
Written by Courtney MacDougall
Original Author: Islam is Diverse. January 2013. Youtube.
Muslim Snow Patrol, a social initiative led by the Islamic Diversity Centre, has a group of Muslim men set out in their community to shovel their neighbours’ sidewalks. The men then briefly meet the homeowners, wish them well, and distribute gift boxes
When asked why they’re doing this, one man replied, “there are a lot of negative images of Islam in the media and we want to try to combat that — try to show the truth about Islam; that we’re positive and helpful.”
Another man explains, “This is our religious obligation as Muslims — to help others, especially those that need it most.”
Despite popular belief and portrayals led by the media, a closer look at the Islamic faith shows a deeply rooted basis of peace and community assistance. In order to be a Muslim, it is required that you are involved in charitable giving and acts throughout your community, that you practice peace, and show tolerance for your fellow man.
It can be difficult trying to combat the very powerful images spread by ISIS and other extremist groups who try to manipulate the true message of Islam and validate messages and acts of hate. However, initiatives like Muslim Snow Patrol clearly demonstrate what Islam is really about.
The Muslim Snow Patrol are at the forefront of a movement to be, as one man explains, “proactive instead of reactive”, leading initiatives that can concretely show the true nature of the Muslim people.
WANT Movement’s aim is closely aligned with this initiative — bringing about the truth about Islam and shifting perspectives back to the peaceful, positive religion that Islam truly is.
This initiative is effective in that it put Islamic beliefs into action and will help to shift attitudes — seeing is believing. Community members will get a chance to meet their Muslim neighbours, put a face to the religion, and connect face-to-face.
Extremist groups, such as ISIS, have a very strong social media presence and clear narratives in their recruiting campaigns. Equally strong but positive counter narratives are needed to bring about the truth and disassociate the Muslim faith from the messages of ISIS and other terrorist groups.
To learn more about the Muslim culture and Islamic Faith, or how to participate in the campaign, click on WANT Movement.