02/01/2014 03:41 EST | Updated 04/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Young Muslims hand out roses in plea for greater acceptance

About a dozen young Muslims stood outside at Phillips Square on Saturday, handing out single roses to passersby.

The roses, given out to mark the recent anniversary of Prophet Mohammad’s birth, were a subtle gesture of goodwill meant to spread the message that the Islamic faith is a peaceful one.

“We want to show to the world that [Islam] is not a bad religion. It’s not, like, terrorists; everybody thinks that but we are not. I’m like everybody in the world. I’m a human,” said Massouma Al-Bahely, one of the organizers of the event.

This is the second year in a row that members of Muslim Youth Montreal have given out roses.

It also coincides with the second annual World Hijab Day.

McGill University professor Daniel Weinstock specializes in political philosophy. He said gestures like this do help, but also have a limited audience.

“Nobody should have to be put in the positions that Muslims are put in today, which is have to remind people that at the end of the day there are just like everybody else,” Weinstock said.