08 February 2016
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.
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.
#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.
Speaking at the nationwide launch yesterday at London Central Mosque, Dr Shuja Shafi, MCB Secretary General said, “We were struck how this initiative resonated so well with the British public last year. We found that there was a huge demand for this so decided to facilitate the event again this year, and we are pleased to have over 80 mosques participating.”
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, said, “We hope that such events are the start of new acquaintances between Muslims and their neighbours of other faiths or beliefs, and be a start of relationships and joint work to improve the lives of all communities in future.”
Mosques up and down the country invited local faith leaders and civic and political leaders. Many politicians participated at local mosques 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.
London Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan expressed his support on Twitter saying, “Great to see mosques across London opening their doors all day on #visitmymosque day”, while Zac Goldsmith on a visit to the Hussaini Islamic Centre in Stanmore said “Visit My Mosque Day is a hugely effective way of breaking down barriers and increasing community engagement and it was a pleasure meeting members of the centre.”
The full list of mosques that took part yesterday can be found online at: www.mcb.org.uk/visitmymosque
A small number of mosques will be holding their open days this coming weekend on 13th and 14th February for logistical reasons.
Notes to Editors:
- The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
- #VisitMyMosque Day is a national initiative facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain. Over 80 mosques are participating this year, more than triple the number of mosques that took part last year.
- Open days are nothing new, with mosques across Britain holding open days for many decades, some even 3 or 4 times a year. #VisitMyMosque day is an attempt to amplify the effect by encouraging mosques to coordinate at least one of their open days on a single day of the year.
- Participating mosques in the 2016 Visit My Mosque Day can be found at mcb.org.uk/visitmymosque
Members of the public can search for their nearest mosque by entering their postcode
- Participating institutions included the oldest mosques in the country, such as the Woking Mosque and the Abdullah Quilliam Mosque in Liverpool, as well as the largest such as the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, the East London Mosque and the Birmingham Central Mosque.
- If there is a mosque or a region you would like to cover or find more information about, please contact the MCB Media office [email protected]uk
For further information please contact:
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079