Nicola Elson reports on the trip to Falmouth undertaken by MP Sarah Newton and the Islamic Society, with a special Valentine’s Day twist.
Photography: Nicola Elson/The Falmouth Anchor
This Saturday the Islamic Society were joined by Falmouth and Truro MP Sarah Newton to raise awareness, myth bust, and spread a little Valentine’s love.
Members of FXU Islamic Society met with Sarah in Falmouth, and braved the rain to hand out o
ses to the local public. The artificial roses, in a variety of colours, had inspirational and encouraging quotes taken from Prophet Muhammad to help spread awareness of their religion. Sarah said:
‘I think this is a brilliant idea from the Islamic Society. It’s a great way of explaining what being a Muslim is all about, and we’re sharing a bit of love here today giving out these absolutely beautiful roses, and in giving people a little bit of information attached to the rose it means people can talk and find out a bit more about them. It’s a really good idea to myth bust, to show what unites us more than divides us, to show that Muslim people are living here peacefully alongside us, and to show what their faith is really about. It’s not about images that people might see on the television and the negative stereotypes which fly all around the internet. Cornwall is a great place, but it’s not a very diverse place, so we don’t really have people from different parts of the world and from different cultures. I think this is a great opportunity to meet and to find out more.’
In the short time that I was there, people from all walks of life received the gift with a surprised smile or a warm thanks. One gentleman took a rose from society member Oussama Kardi, and moved everyone on the Moor as he said ‘I’ll go and put this on my wife’s grave’. Another child looked hesitantly to his father before taking a blue rose with a beaming smile. Another red rose was given to a couple who had been married for thirty years, and the husband presented it to his wife saying ‘thirty years on and you’re still looking good’. There really was a spirit of love and acceptance in the air – it was touching to watch the public’s day brighten at this small gift, and to watch our local MP and students working together to destroy myths and prejudices against the Islamic faith.