Redbridge residents are being invited to visit a mosque this weekend as part of a national initiative to foster better community relations.
The Redbridge Islamic Centre, in Woodford Avenue, is joining more than 200 mosques across the country in flinging open its doors to the community for the Muslim Council of Britain’s #VisitMyMosque day on February 18.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the MCB that more than 90per cent of Britons have never been inside a mosque.
The event follows on from the ‘Our Mosques, Our Future’ conference held last month discussing the evolving role mosques play in modern Britain.
The Recorder spoke with secretary general of the MCB and Wanstead resident Harun Khan to find out more about what Redbridge residents can learn from the conference and how they can engage with the day.
“There was a lot of interest around our ‘more than a prayer space’ theme and how mosques can begin serving other purpose – such as being a community hub for other activities.” said Mr Khan, commenting on the conference.
“Redbridge mosques are actually doing this a lot.
“For instance, Redbridge Islamic Centre and Ilford Central Mosque both have youth clubs and activities for the elderly.”
Visit My Mosque day comes only weeks after far right terrorist Darren Osborne, 48, was found guilty of murdering Makram Ali, 51, after ploughing into a crowd near London’s Finsbury Park mosque. Asked whether the event may put mosques at risk, Mr Khan said: “There are concerns and harted is growing.
“Each mosque that takes part receives guidelines and a briefing on how to run the day and security information.”
He added: “One of the ways to dispel hatred is to be more welcoming and get rid of the misconceptions people have.”
“Despite the multi-religious and multi-cultural society we live in, these poll results show that the majority of Britons have not seen what the place of worship of another faith looks like.”
Mosques from across London, South East, Midlands, Scotland, Wales, Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Humber and Northern Ireland will be taking part. Visitors can find their nearest participating Mosque at: www.visitmymosque.org/find