Northampton buses splashed with pro-Islam banner to battle 'misinformation' about the religion

The bus banners are set to remain in place for another week and have so far had a positive reaction from the Muslim community.
The bus banners are set to remain in place for another week and have so far had a positive reaction from the Muslim community.

Muslims in Northampton have had "tremendous feedback" from a recent bus banner aimed at hitting back at recent negative public opinion over the faith.

Five Stagecoach buses carrying the words “ O' mankind, spread peace and feed people”, have been in circulation around Northampton for the past week.

The words, said to have been spoke by the Islam prophet Muhammad, are part of the central teachings of the faith and have been formed into banners across the country as part a national campaign by the As-Siraat group.

Local co-ordinator Yousuf Miah said the aim of the banners are to inspire Muslims of all ages to make a "positive contribution to the town".

"We have had tremendous feedback so far," he said. "It has taken a lot of Muslims by surprise.

"There have been a few that have said 'what the hell is going on here', but on the whole they have been positive."

The campaign by As-Siraat is in its sixth year, but this is the first time it has appeared in Northampton.

Mr Miah said the banners here have been prompted by recent news stories surrounding the Islamic faith, not least the recent terror attack on Parliament carried out by a Muslim fundamentalist.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about Islam, which has led to a climate of fear," added Mr Miah, a 40-year-old planning consultant from Abington.

"The true message of Islam is often lost.

"This campaign is about being proactive, and promoting a positive message, conveying the true teachings of Islam in our communities.

"The work of As-Siraat as an organisation is to break down barriers and engage with people.”