A man from Earley is battling Islamophobia by teaching strangers all about his religion. Aadil Asghar has been busy responding to curious members of his community, ever since he invited people to ask him about Islam and accompany him on trips to his local mosque.
Since posting the open invitation on Facebook on Wednesday, June 7, he has been bombarded by dozens of people who want to find out more about his faith.
The 29-year-old wants to improve peoples’ understanding about the religion and dispel some of the stigmas, which are often perpetuated on social media and in the mainstream press.
And while he has never been a victim of Islamophobic abuse, Mr Asghar is concerned it is becoming more prevalent in the wake of recent terror attacks in the UK and abroad.
“There has been a lot posted on social media about Islam and it’s quite dangerous. People can jump to conclusions as it can paint a picture which might not be true. So I thought I should take responsibility and help people in my community learn more about my religion.
I wasn’t expecting the response it got to be honest, I was shocked. I was inundated with responses. I have been getting a lot of questions from people who want to find out if Islam is different to what they have heard and seen.
A chap called Leo from Wokingham, who goes to Bluecoat and lives in a white area where he doesn’t interact with many Muslims, came to visit me to find out more about Islam. I gave Leo a tour of the mosque, he then met the imam from Aisha Mosque known as Imam Yahya. He asked the imam several questions about the purpose of the mosque, Islam and life in general along with some questions around recent events and the stance of common Muslims in relation to that.
“I’m open to anyone who has any questions. They can come and sit with me and ask about my religion, or we can go to the mosque. It’s an open invitation.”