Sunday saw hundreds of people take to the streets of London to promote the positive message of Islam as a force for peace and unity, yet not one mainstream media outlet reported it.
The UK Arbaeen Procession is organised every year by the Husaini Islamic Trust UK and according to their website is the ‘largest annually organised Islamic event in Europe’. The Trust aims to promote the teachings of Imam Husain – a seventh century Muslim freedom fighter who stood up for justice against dictators who were denying citizens their human rights.
Mohammed Al-Sharifi, a part-time activist and regular volunteer at the procession told us:
We can still apply the same principles today when we are terrorised by the likes of ISIS. The message applies now more than ever to current issues. We are trying to undo people’s misconceptions about Islam – this a multi-faith event and we are trying to promote universal human values.
Hundreds of Muslims flooded the streets of London yesterday to condemn terrorism.
Media's response: Silence.
— Mohammed Al-Sharifi (@Malsharifi) December 7, 2015
Attendance at the march – which starts at Marble Arch and heads down Park Lane – has increased steadily year on year, yet in stark contrast to events which place a more negative spin on Islam, no one reports on it.
“It’s never covered because it’s not juicy,” said Mohammed. “If a Muslim does something crazy it goes viral, it’s front page news. The mainstream media is reluctant to give a platform to normal Muslims.”
Mohammed is also involved in the #NO2ISIS official Facebook page, which has gathered over 17,000 likes since the extremist terror group first came into being, he told us:
I’ve never met anyone who is pro-ISIS, 99 per cent of Muslims just want to lead peaceful lives, you know, have a coffee with friends. This is the message we want to get out there.