News of this initiative comes from Shafi Chowdhury, a Surrey reader, and the International Business Times, which often records news avoided by the mainstream press.

central mosqueThe minaret and dome of the Birmingham Central Mosque, where about 200 were said to have attended a community event in opposition to Pegida UK: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pegida-uk-hundreds-attend-birmingham-central-mosque-opposition-tommy-robinsons-anti-islam-march-1542279

visit mosque logoThe Muslim Council of Britain reports that thousands of Britons were welcomed into over 80 mosques across the country on Sunday 7 February, as part of the second annual ‘Visit My Mosque’ Day. A small number of mosques will be holding their open days on 13th and 14th February for logistical reasons.

Mosques across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland invited in neighbours to share tea and refreshments, alongside an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship.

One individual’s experience may be read here.

Mosques up and down the country also invited local faith leaders and civic and political leaders. Many politicians participated, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP, and other members of Parliament including Bob Blackman, Stella Creasey, Fabian Hamilton, Wes Streeting, James Flanagan and Rupa Huq.

#VisitMyMosque Day was facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), to provide a platform for Muslims to reach out to fellow Britons and explain their faith and community beyond the hostile headlines . . .

Local mosques also invited inter-faith leaders as well, to come together to demonstrate unity and solidarity, while many visitors were just curious local residents. David from Hendon said, “I’ve driven for many years past London Central Mosque wondering what goes inside, but when I got an email telling me there was an open day, I decided to come today and visit.”

Posting on Facebook, Frances Stanfield said, “Just back from Medina Mosque Southampton. Lovely hosts and some interesting and open conversations.”

Tanvier Ahmed, Outreach Team at Darul Isra Mosque in Cardiff, said, “The majority of mosques have open doors so you can walk in at any time. Today we’re just making that extra special effort by putting on an event, but we welcome visitors throughout the year.”

Dr Salah Beltagui, Muslim Council of Scotland, expressed the hope that such events will see new acquaintances being made between Muslims and their neighbours of other faiths or beliefs, and start relationships and joint work to improve the lives of all communities in future.

For the full text of this message, and a list of mosques that took part, go to: www.mcb.org.uk/visitmymosque

 

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