Snapchat celebrates Islam Awareness Week with new filter

Snapchat celebrates Islam Awareness Week with new filter
2 min read
31 March, 2017
Temporary video and image sharing app Snapchat releases filter recognising event aimed at dispelling myths about Muslims and their faith.
Snapchat's Young, Muslim and British filter was made available on Thursday [Getty]
Video and picture sharing app Snapchat marked Islam Awareness Week in the UK with a filter dedicated to the event aimed at removing misconceptions about the religion.

The filter, which carried the phrase Young, Muslim and British, was made available on Thursday.

Muslim users in the UK posted selfies and videos to show their houses, workplaces and general lifestyles as well as to explain a bit about Islam and what it means to them.

"A Muslim doesn't have to look a certain way, first of all its about what's in their hearts, what they believe and how they treat other people," said one Snapchat user.

"I'm just like you, I love Justin Beiber and One Direction!" said another.

This year's Islam Awareness Week, which is characteristically marked by a flurry of public events by mosques, Islamic centres and Muslim student bodies, comes shortly after a British man attacked and killed four people outside the UK's houses of Parliament in London.

When news later emerged that the attacker, 52-year-old Khalid Masood, was a Muslim convert, already-existing fears about community tensions were raised further.

In light of this, some reacted negatively to the Snapchat filter, reinforcing some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that the annual IAW event seeks to dispel.

"Is that Islam awareness week on snapchat some sort of sick joke," said one user on Twitter.

Islam Awareness Week was initiated in the UK by the Islamic Society of Britain in 1994, with the aim of raising awareness and removing "misconceptions surrounding Britain’s second largest faith group".

Since establishing the event, the ISB says it has unfortunately seen "both genuine misunderstanding and the unfair misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims increase sharply in society".

Some of the shots from the Snapchat Discover Story