The founder of a Muslim hiking group and a university tutor from Manchester have hit back at racists who posted vile comments on Facebook.

Muslim Hikers, founded by Haroon Mota, led a group of more than 100 people on a Christmas Day hike in the Peak District in Derbyshire.

But after those on the walk shared photos of their hike on Facebook, they were accused of damaging the area and of not being ‘proper walkers’, while Mr Mota said they were also met with racist replies.

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Salma Mehboob, 43, a psychology tutor at Manchester Metropolitan University who went on the hike, said they had seen a comment ‘comparing the walkers to the Serengeti wildebeest migration’.

Mr Mota, who set up the Muslim Hikers page during the coronavirus lockdown, said they have since received an ‘overwhelming response in terms of solidarity from the wider community’.

Mr Mota, 36, from Coventry, said his group had chosen 25 December as the area would be quieter than usual.

Around 130 walkers went on the hike to Mam Tor.

The hikers in Derbyshire
(Image: PA)

“There were some very racist comments being made,” Mr Mota said.

“These type of comments, racist comments, only make it more problematic for those from our community who feel less empowered to get outside.

“For people who might be joining for the first time, they might think ‘oh wow, is this what people actually think?’

“One of the reasons why we set up Muslim Hikers was so that we could stand together and for greater diversity and inclusion.

“We’ve been working extremely hard to create a culture of confidence in the outdoors.”

Ms Mehboob, from Manchester, shared her photos of the event to the Facebook group Derbyshire and Peak District Walks, a public group which has more than 90,000 members.

Salma Mehboob
(Image: PA)

Ms Mehboob said ‘the sense of entitlement’ from some commenters was ‘absurd’.

She said: “I have never seen comments made …….


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