Quran awareness campaign held in the Netherlands

Ibrahim Ahmed, Missionary, The Netherlands

On 13 January 2024, the far-right activist leader Edwin Wagensveld tried to burn a copy of the Holy Quran in the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands while being attacked by angry protestors.

In contrast to this angry and violent remonstration, on 20 January 2024, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat took to the open streets of Arnhem to hand out free copies of the Holy Quran to passers-by while having smiles on their faces.

This Quran campaign held to counteract the negative image of Islam portrayed by the popular media not only celebrated the values of peace and harmony but also served as a peaceful and confident response to an unfortunate incident fueled by the ignorance and hatred of the far-right group called Pegida.

At the heart of the campaign was an outdoor Quran exhibition designed to captivate the attention of the Dutch people of Arnhem. Amidst the open display, 150 copies of the Holy Quran were distributed to curious and open-minded members of the public, who seemed eager to explore the teachings, or at least give them a chance. Accompanying these distributions, 21,000 leaflets were also handed out by Ahmadi men and women, disseminating true Islamic knowledge as well as building bridges and fostering greater understanding in their local community.

The impact extended far beyond the physical distribution, as hundreds of heartfelt conversations unfolded during the event. Individuals from diverse backgrounds engaged in dialogues that transcended religious boundaries, extending hands of understanding and tolerance.

Alhamdulillah, the campaign garnered extensive media coverage on a local, regional, and national scale. 14 national media reports, including two TV broadcasts, one radio interview, and 11 photo articles, showcased the impact of the campaign. Additionally, 11 regional media reports, featuring one TV broadcast, two video articles, and eight photo articles, amplified the message across the Dutch community. The overall estimated reach of this campaign is 2-3 million through all the combined media coverage.

The efforts were further commended by the Mayor of Arnhem, Ahmed Marcouch, who publicly acknowledged and appreciated the initiative on a national radio station. The Alderman of Arnhem paid a special visit on behalf of the Mayor to show their support and accepted a copy of the Holy Quran as a gift.

In response to the Quran burning incident by Pegida, Arnhem demonstrated resilience, showcasing how understanding and dialogue can prevail over ignorance and hostility.

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