Random Act of Kindness Day
Categories: Latest News
Friday February 15 2019
The 17th of February is Random Act of Kindness Day. This day is for everyone to have the opportunity to do something nice for a stranger, co-worker or loved one, promoting joy and thoughtfulness in a society where there is a feeling of people being less connected to each other.
However, depending on the person from whom the act of kindness is coming from, it can dispel stereotypes and presumptions that people have.
Muslim communities have been demonised in the press and have suffered greatly from negative media portrayals. Research has demonstrated that for every 1 positive news story about Muslims there are 21 negative ones. However, an ICM Poll showed that Muslims are also the most charitable group in the UK, giving an average of £371 to charity each. During Ramadan 2016, the Muslim community raised £100m, amounting to £38 a second. As well as monetary support, Muslims have also set up an invaluable number of campaigns and organisations that greatly contribute to British society.
One example of a campaign initiated by young Muslims is the Believe and Do Good Campaign, introduced in 2015 by the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in partnership with the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). The campaign is about compassion and competing in acts of community services, such as giving blood, visiting a care home, feeding a care home. The inspiration behind this comes from the Quranic verse for individuals to “believe and do good,” that is taken to be a duty.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims has noted the immense contribution that British Muslim charities have made towards ending homelessness. In 2017, Muslim organisations assisted over 300,000 people by distribution meals, drinks, winter packs and over £350,000 in donations. Sufra Northwest London, for example, has utilised a community kitchen whilst investing over £100,000 to provide emergency food. Similarly, the InTouch Foundation, set up by Osman Gondal, has distributed over 200,000 meals since its inception in Bradford. Likewise, last winter, mosques in Greater Manchester and Stoke on Trent opened their doors and invited in rough sleepers away from freezing temperatures, often with the help of taxi drivers dropping off those in need of shelter.
Likewise, the aftermath of Grenfell bought together many Muslim charitable organisations that formed the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit that continued to help the victims of the tragedy beyond the post-emergency phase through providing financial assistance, food provision, resettlement and emergency shelter and arranging almost 50 funerals.
Muslims have long been misrepresented in the media with headlines relating to terrorism, grooming gangs, and hijab. Therefore it is heartening when Muslims make the headlines for positive news stories that are benefitting wider society. Random acts of kindness may be small but when accumulated, they can make a significant contribution to the community.