A group of hikers were reportedly racially abused after posting photos of their walk on Christmas Day.
A total of 130 people signed up for the Mam Tor mountain hike, organized by the Muslim Hikers group.
Muslim Hikers is a grassroots initiative and was put in place during the lockdown to help tackle loneliness and isolation in Muslim communities across the UK.
However, the group of hikers received a wave of hatred afterwards.
This was the group’s third event in 2021, following a walk up Mount Snowden in Wales and a walk through the Peak District followed by afternoon tea.
The founder of the group, Haroon Mota, has always been an avid hiker and has achieved a number of accomplishments such as climbing mountains in South America, the base of Mount Everest and climbing Kilimanjaro.
The Mam Tor event was considered a success by everyone involved. But after the photos were posted on social media, some people reacted angrily.
One said, “PATHETIC, go back to what you were doing before the pandemic and leave this place quiet for good walkers. “
Another said: “Hooligans destroying fragile moors for your own satisfaction. “
One person said, “Wow, it’s like the wildebeest migrating into the Serengeti, they keep coming. “
Mr Mota said: “We know that these problems exist in society, but it is a shame that we had to face them.
“What we’re trying to do is inspire and encourage people to come out and that kind of reaction could negatively impact our cause.
“We want everyone to have a positive experience in every way possible and I never thought we would get these feedback based on what we were doing.”
Mr Mota believes some of the comments had racial overtones and the group was only confronted with the comments because of their appearance.
He continued, “I know if it wasn’t a group of Muslims we would be applauded and people would be in awe, but because of who we are we get comments like this.
“I don’t think anyone was particularly offended or hurt by the comments, these issues exist and we need to overcome them.”
“I just don’t understand what they mean by appropriate walkers, the walk is for everyone and anyone, not specifically for a group.”
The group quickly received support.
One person said, “Wonderful pictures, please don’t let the minority spoil what is a wonderful thing!” Hope you enjoy many more walks.
Another commented: “These real walkers probably only venture 500 meters from their car!
“The Peaks has this brilliant ability to engulf large numbers, so you walk almost in isolation.
“There is room for everyone. Good luck, keep coming, please.
In a message on Twitter, Mr Mota said:
“We know that only a small minority of people think this way, but we have seen many comments highlighting the issues that exist within our community.
“To everyone who has supported us so far. Thank you.”
The backpacker group has a number of events planned for 2022.
Mr. Mota added, “Muslim Hikers is open to people from all walks of life and we want to stress that walking and hiking is for everyone.
“I have been an enthusiast for over 15 years and have never had any negative comments when climbing mountains and running marathons.
“We will not stop because of these comments.”