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Muslim Teens Have Made This Islamic Scholar Into A Gigantic Meme

Mufti Menk told BuzzFeed News: "Some of them are OK, some of them are just a laugh, and some of them are actually ridiculous."

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This is Mufti Menk, a prominent scholar of Islam.

Mufti Menk / Facebook / Via Facebook: muftimenk

He is from Harare in Zimbabwe and is the director of the Islamic Educational Centre of the Majlisul Ulama.

He has a huge following on social media: His Facebook pages has over 1.8 million likes and he has more than 900,000 Twitter followers.

He's also been named one of the top 500 most influential Muslims in the world. Menk has been invited to do speaking tours all over the world on issues from spirituality to shisha – but he was stopped from speaking at UK universities over concerns about his anti-gay views.

Last year Menk gave an interview to Islamic audio and media publisher Muslim Central.

Muslim Central

In the video, filmed in Singapore and published in June 2015, the interviewer – whose back is to the camera – asks a range of questions about Isis and other terrorist groups, whom Menk condemns.

Aisha, 22, a student from London – who goes by @Ilovemnmcrispyy on Twitter – says she was the first one to caption the interview still of Menk early in August.

"Muslim Twitter can totally have a laugh. We have our humour … I didn't think it would get this big," she told BuzzFeed News.

Since then it has gone huge, with the image of Menk taken from the interview becoming a gigantic meme.

When BuzzFeed News asked Menk about it he said some of the memes "are a laugh".

"I don't really know what to say," he said. "I haven't really gone too deeply into it. I just try to help people, and just try to present a positive message every day."

"I've seen some of them. Some of them are OK, some of them are just a laugh, and some of them are actually ridiculous but anyways, it's one of those things."

Menk said he didn't have a favourite meme, adding: "To be honest with you I don't really have the time to go through all of them."

He said it was important for religious scholars to be accessible, unlike the previous generation. "It was so difficult to access scholars, and people thought, These guys are really not living the life we're living," he added.

During an interview on the phone just before a long-haul flight, he said: "I'm genuinely a person … who tries to reach out to all sorts of people and I do know that the world is changing."

"We're trying to keep up with the changes and trying to educate people regarding these changes in a balanced way, and go through these changes without really compromising core beliefs and without trampling on the toes of others," he added.

Aisha Gani is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Aisha Gani at aisha.gani@buzzfeed.com.

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