News | Muslim Hikers Group Subjected To Shameful Online Trolling After Successful Christmas Day Hike In Peak District - Outdoors Magic

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News | Muslim Hikers Group Subjected To Shameful Online Trolling After Successful Christmas Day Hike In Peak District

Muslim hiking group promoting inclusivity in the outdoors is struck by nasty online trolling after a popular 130-person Christmas Day hike up Mam Tor

Muslim Hikers are an outdoor initiative founded by mountaineer Haroon Mota with the focus on diversifying the outdoor world and ‘inspiring Muslims to get OUTDOORS’. With inclusivity at its heart, the group was created during the 2020 lockdown in the UK and has since proved very popular amongst Muslim communities and beyond. 

Haroon before the group set off for the summit of Mam Tor. Photo: Muslim Hikers / Zain Lambat

Most recently, Muslim Hikers lead a 130-person strong hike up the beautiful Mam Tor (517m) on Christmas Day, their third event to date. With people joining from all across the UK, the group had a brilliant day out in the Castleton Peak with some typical British weather along the way. 

When pictures and news of this successful trip were posted across social media, however – specifically on a facebook group called ‘Derbyshire & Peak District Walks’ – the group were then subjected to a barrage of negative comments and online trolling. 

 

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A post shared by Haroon Mota (@haroonmota)

Following these hateful comments, we spoke to founder Haroon Mota who said: “Personally, I’ve never felt out of place when I’m outdoors. I’ve never had any abuse or faced any prejudice. However, I understand and totally appreciate why many of my counterparts display a perception of the outdoors being a white domain which is unwelcoming and is susceptible to racism and prejudice. As a group, this is the first time we’ve encountered abuse, and even though it’s online we can see there was a lot of it. Yes, it’s a minority but there was still a lot of it.”

“By organising group events, this builds capacity and confidence.”

Speaking about the purpose of the group, Haroon explained: “We promote safety in numbers through the events we organise. People will always feel more safe when amongst people they can relate to and those they feel comfortable with. By organising group events, this builds capacity and confidence which they can take back home to their families and communities and hopefully feel more empowered and independent in the future. This type of racist behaviour only makes it more problematic for those who feel less empowered to get outside and enjoy natural spaces.”

Photo: Muslim Hikers / Zain Lambat
Photo: Muslim Hikers / Zain Lambat

Since the trolling, Muslim Hikers have since received comments of solidarity and support throughout the outdoor community as well as 4000 new followers. “We’ve had such an overwhelming amount of support from the wider community since the weekend. The amount of messages and tweets we’ve had is very overwhelming. This is the true spirit of the outdoors.”

Haroon also explained that although it is the Muslim community they are focusing on, their events are not exclusive. “Anyone can join”, he says, “and we welcome all to follow our social channels to stay up to date with our work: FacebookInstagramTwitter.”

Muslim Hikers are planning many more group hikes in 2022 so keep an eye out if you fancy some quality time in the great outdoors. 

For more information about what they’ve been up to – check out this short film documenting their first group trek up Snowdon. 

 

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