UK mosques’ open-door interfaith initiative returns


The East London Mosque opened its doors to the public on Sunday, giving people of all faiths the opportunity to explore the place of worship, learn about Islam, and ask questions.

As part of a Muslim Council of Britain initiative called “Visit My Mosque,” more than 200 across the country welcomed members of local communities over the weekend. The initiative is in its seventh year and is back in person after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic during which the event was held virtually.

At the East London Mosque, one of the largest in Europe, visitors were treated to British staples tea and cake, given tours, and were able to view a special Qur’an manuscripts exhibition.

Attendees were able to explore a display of the mosque’s archives chronicling early Qur’an translators and listen to community leaders who shared inspiring messages of neighborliness.

They were also able to witness the midday or Dhuhr prayer being performed from a special viewing gallery, and listen to the adhan, or call to prayer, which is particularly pertinent considering the mosque was the first in the UK to broadcast it through public speakers. A stand for women allowed them to try on headscarves in a variety of colors and patterns and people could have their names written in Arabic calligraphy at another.

Women could take their pick of scarves at the East London Mosque on Sunday. (Abdulmukith Ahmed) A corner dedicated to TED-style talks had participants discuss misconceptions about Islam, the Qur’an, and what it feels like to be a Muslim in Britain.—Arab News

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