By Shenaz Sajan
This year, 6 organisations joined forces with the KSIMC of Birmingham to make #LoveMuhammad’s #RosesForPeace campaign in Birmingham bigger and better than ever before, as more than 60 volunteers came together to distribute 2400 roses across Birmingham. Volunteers gathered and spent two days preparing the roses ready for distribution at the Clifton Road Mosque. On the campaign, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed explained ‘We are here to share the blessings of the festive season and to promote peaceful co-existence in our society. This campaign is fantastic and the spirit of the volunteers is incredible, and I hope that with this event, we are able to bring more unity within our community.’
To spread the message of peace, love and unity to as many people as possible, the Roses were distributed in the Town Centre, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and to Churches, namely St Mary’s and St Peter’s at their midnight mass service.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Whilst most people spent the Christmas period enjoying the time with their families, there are some heroes that gave up this luxury and work day and night, keeping our loved ones alive and breathing. To appreciate their efforts, the team went through every ward presenting the staff with Roses as a symbol of peace and love during the festive period.
They were met with tears of happiness, hugs of love and lots of smiles, with many commenting that this had made their day.
Birmingham City Centre
Young, old, male and female joined together on Christmas Eve in the City Centre handing out roses of peace to the public. Despite many being busy with their last minute Christmas shopping, they still found time to take a rose and greatly appreciated the gesture.
At a time when Muslims are portrayed as being perpetrators of evil, the Roses for peace played a key role in changing people’s perceptions of Islam. As we spoke to people, they were delighted to receive a rose and would cherish it.
A passer-by, Bobby told us ‘You’ve truly made my day. After watching the news, I thought there was no hope left in humanity, but you have restored my faith in humanity. As a Christian, we have much more in common with Muslims that that which divides us, and I’m so glad you’re here giving out roses.’
Midnight Mass at St Mary’s Church (Moseley)
Each Rose contains a message of peace from the Bible as well as from the Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh), in an effort to unite Muslims with Christians. With this in mind, over 120 of our members attended the Midnight Mass to remember the birth of Prophet Jesus. Roses and some irresistible Mitthai were given out as we came together and prayed for a better world.
These were warmly received, as bonds were built and bridges formed between the Muslim and Christian communities in Birmingham. Richard a minister told us ‘It is my dream that Muslims and Christians come together. We are truly overwhelmed with appreciation with the efforts that Muslims are putting in, to bring about a more united and cohesive society, one in which peace and harmony prevail.’
I would like to take this opportunity to thank #LoveMuhammed and the partnering organisations for their assistance and making the 2017 #Rosesforpeace campaign such a success:
HOPE not Hate, the Islamic Society of Britain, University of Birmingham and Aston AhlulBayt Societies, WF Aid and Lady Zainab Helping Hands.