...to hand out pamphlets explaining how Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately, they seem to be handing them out only to non-Muslims. It's too bad that Shehzad Tanweer and his friends don't seem to have gotten this message. From the Middle East Times, with thanks to Fjordman:
LONDON -- On a dark, busy late afternoon over the hectic Christmas period, a group of young Muslim men stand, braving the cold and rain, at one of several staircases leading down to the entrance to Oxford Circus tube station. Passersby, loaded with parcels, jostle for space on the heaving pavement; bright Christmas lights twinkle overhead.
Above the noise of the traffic and the thousands of people, one man at the small stall, dressed in coat, hat and gloves, attempts to make himself heard. "Take a leaflet here," he yells, "They're free. Discover the true face of Islam and remove some of the misconceptions!"
He holds a handful of booklets in the air, offering them to the busy pedestrians flooding the steps to the tube station. No one takes one. "All your questions answered!" he tries again, thanking someone gratefully as they agree to take a leaflet. "We're here every Friday - come and talk to us!"...
In response to the wave of misunderstandings and misconceptions that many British Muslims feel that they are facing, a group of young people decided that the time had come to challenge the general public's popular notions of the nature of Islam by taking to the streets. The "Discover Islam" brochure they give out, produced by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, seeks to outline, in a simple, logical fashion, the Islamic belief system, thus making the religion accessible to a wider, non-Islamic audience.
"It's difficult," says one of the young men distributing the leaflets at the stand, who preferred not to be named. "There's a lot of fear and a lot of misunderstandings. Lots of people just don't want to know at all. Some people think that all Muslims are terrorists, and that we're really a front for something more sinister. But we persevere, and every single non-Muslim we reach is a victory for us."
Would that they put all that energy into reaching Muslims.