Locals embrace ‘Visit Your Mosque Day’

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Visitors enjoying ‘Visit Your Mosque Day’ at Abdullah Quilliam mosque. Pic © Sean Whelan JMU Journalism

Mosques across Merseyside opened their doors to those looking to learn more about Islam as part of a nationwide initiative.

‘Visit My Mosque Day’ is facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain, encouraging more than 250 Islamic faith centres around the UK to hold open days to welcome neighbours from all religions and those who have none at all to help build bridges across communities.

Whilst mosque open days in Britain have been taking place for decades, Sunday’s scheme allowed the experience to be shared across the country on the same day.

Abdullah Quilliam, in Liverpool’s Brougham Terrace, is Britain’s oldest mosque and was one of the first to embrace the idea.

Galib Khan, the Chair of the Abdullah Quilliam Society, was delighted to see such a great response.

YouTube: Sean Whelan

He told JMU Journalism: “It’s great to host people on what has been a great day. It’s nice for people to learn about our religion and the history of Islam in the UK and Europe.”

Liverpool City Councillor Nick Small was one of those who visited the historic mosque, which was founded in Victorian times, and he stressed just how important and beneficial the annual nationwide event is.

He said: “Today just shows the wider community what goes on in mosques. Initiatives like this are really important. In Liverpool, there are 25,000 Muslims and they play a huge part in our civic life and we all need to appreciate where they’re coming from and understand different cultures and faiths.”

Al-Rahma Mosque in Toxteth. Pic © Rept0n1x via Wikimedia Commons

Liverpudlians may well get their chance to learn more about Islam with plans in place for the Abdullah Quilliam Mosque to have a library, community facilities and also a museum to compliment this most historic place of worship.

Opportunities to learn about different faiths is key to strengthening communities and their understanding of one another, according to Labour Councillor Small.

He told JMU Journalism: “Learning is the key to breaking down some barriers and myths associated with religions, and it was really nice to be there today and see the work that’s going on.

“Liverpool has always been a welcoming community, and everyone is welcome in this city. Events like today just build on our strength of community and understanding of those within it.”

About Sean Whelan, JMU Journalism