About one month ago IGMG (Islamic Community of Milli Görüş) which is a huge faith based NGO working in Europe, Canada and Australia and is located in Kerpen (Germany) organized a Street Action Day in Europe under the title “Gestatten, Muslim|Permettez – Je suis musulman” (Allow me – I am Muslim).
To be exact it was a platform of dialog between Muslim and Non-Muslims Europeans to get to know each other better in days where unfortunately media is often talking about but not with Muslims in an untruth way and in a way spreading rumors. To avoid incorrect information about Islam, young Muslims went to the streets and were available for those having questions on Islam and Muslims in general.
At the end of the day the statistics showed how successful this initiative led by the regional and local youth organizations of IGMG has been. In just one day 61.000 conversations were hold in 102 locations in five different European countries.
Some micro happenings…
Usually the regional association taking part in this project distributed roses which is the symbol of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but the regional association of Vienna in Austria endowed 250 kg of apples to visitors.
One student studying in Austria had a very nice conversation with an older couple. She complained about the lack of gentleness compared to Germany. In Germany she felt welcome by people surrounding her and was seen as a daughter but in Austria she unfortunately could not feel the same feelings. After the conversation, the elder couple said “Good Bye!” and were gone. After a few time they came back with coffee and cake to see her. Their statement was “now we know you and next time we see you we will welcome you as our daughter.
Another interesting happening is from Germany. An elder man came closer to a young man at the location and started to insult him by provoking with every kind of prejudice touching topics like terrorism, polygamy marriage etc. The elder man tried to challenge and deeply provoke the young man but failed after all in trying to see the young Muslim like a brutal one shown often in the media. His sentence later on was very strong: “I thought you do not mean it seriously by the things saying and representing your religion here. Now I know you are serious!”
All these stories and more than them happened on this street action day which shows how the society – Non-Muslims and Muslims – need to have a fair dialogue with each other. The invisible barriers between the citizens are bigger than expected and must be solve to reach at the end a society who comes closer to interact with each other and have a common sharing all day life.
For people interested in doing an action with IGMG or a similar one according to information of IGMG, the same action will be organized but in a more extended form the coming next year. NGO’s can join this action or organize a similar one by means of guideline IGMG prepared which in now available in German. For more information please ask directly IGMG via email – firstname.lastname@example.org