The great outdoors has always been a space for people to come together, find peace, and explore nature. However, inclusivity and diversity in outdoor activities still have a long way to go, as seen with the recent partnership between Muslim Hikers, Adidas TERREX, and Wiggle, which unfortunately sparked racist abuse online.
Muslim Hikers, a community walking group based in the United Kingdom, was established during the 2020 lockdown. The group’s goal is to encourage Muslims to engage in outdoor activities and build connections with people from all backgrounds. The organization has partnered with sportswear brand Adidas TERREX and online retailer Wiggle to create a more inclusive environment for the Muslim community in the world of hiking and outdoor activities.
The partnership aimed to identify barriers that Muslims face when praying outdoors and develop bespoke prayer mats for them to use more comfortably while hiking. Additionally, signs pointing towards Mecca have been placed along the popular Cave Dale hiking route in Derbyshire’s Peak District.
Haroon Mota, the founder of Muslim Hikers, expressed pride in this collaboration, calling it a beautiful campaign that celebrates inclusivity and diversity. Unfortunately, the announcement of the partnership resulted in “disgusting and shocking” racist abuse online.
This was not the first time the group had faced such adversity. In November of the previous year, Muslim Hikers appeared in a BBC Countryfile special, which led to racial slurs targeting the group. Moreover, Mota recounted that the group had received online abuse after posting photos from a hike in the Peak District.
Despite these challenges, Mota remains undeterred and called on the global community to stand together against hatred, intolerance, and divisiveness. In a video posted on Twitter, Mota emphasized the importance of solidarity in the face of animosity and encouraged everyone to call out intolerance when they see it.
As a society, we must strive for inclusivity and unity in all aspects of life, including outdoor activities. The partnership between Muslim Hikers, Adidas TERREX, and Wiggle is a positive step towards achieving this goal, but it also highlights the work that still needs to be done. It’s vital that we support organizations like Muslim Hikers in their mission to break down barriers and foster a sense of belonging for everyone, regardless of their background.
It is our responsibility to stand up against hatred and intolerance, promote inclusivity, and celebrate the beauty of diversity in the great outdoors. The partnership between Muslim Hikers, Adidas TERREX, and Wiggle serves as a reminder of the progress we have made and the challenges we must still overcome.