Muslim Hikers complete another Christmas walk despite last year's racism

3/14/2023 4:55 PM

Despite experiencing racist abuse online after their previous Christmas Day trek, the Muslim Hikers went on their annual trip up one of the UK's most well-known peaks.

Around 200 walkers joined tour organiser Haroon Mota on the 7-mile walk around Mam Tor in the Peak District on Christmas Day.

Despite experiencing racist abuse after sharing pictures of their Christmas day walk the previous year, Mota didn't think twice about organising the trek again.  

"If it worried me we wouldn't be organising a hike on Christmas Day in the first place," Mota told the BBC before this year’s hike.

"That type of abuse... it's unsurprising, it's problematic and we need to address it, but it's something we're very much used to dealing with now,.  

He added: "We just need to carry on with what we set up for in the first place, and that's to create an inclusive place in the outdoors."

Last year, Haroon told Islam Channel’s weekly current affairs programme NewsTalk about the hate and subsequent support the group received after the incident last Christmas.

Two months ago, the group was yet again subject to shocking online abuse following an appearance on the flagship BBC show Countryfile.

Support from social media

Social media users were happy to see the group go on another festive day hike.

“Great stuff. Glad you enjoyed it, and we hope to see you out and about!” said the Long Distance Walkers Association.

Henna Khan-Hussain said on Twitter: "Two years ago my husband and I hiked in the Dales on Xmas Day, last year in the Lakes, both times just the two of us. To spend today hiking with the @Muslim_Hikers was special. Also shoutout to all the other walkers we met (not part of the group) who were nothing but delightful."

Another comment on Facebook read: “We saw you set off yesterday. We were very impressed with how many there were in your group. Hope you all had a great walk.”

Muslim Hikers is a grassroots initiative set up in lockdown to help tackle loneliness and isolation in Muslim communities across the UK.

Since its formation, the group's regular treks have reportedly become the largest of its kind in the UK.

Mota recently shared with Islam Channel the importance of the initiative and about some of the challenges the group has faced.

Image: Muslim Hikers twitter