London, 21 Rabi’ul Akhir 1437/31 January 2016 (MINA) – Mosques across Britain are planning to open their doors to the public in a bid to counter negative stereotypes about Muslims next week, against a backdrop of rising Islamophobia.
Organized by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), more than 80 mosques will participate in the “Visit my Mosque” day on February 7 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, International Islamic News Agency (IINA) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
“It’s an opportunity for Muslims in the UK to put themselves out there and reach out to their local neighbours,” an MCB spokesman said.
“The day will allow for people to meet face-to-face, get to know each other and tackle misconceptions.”
Visitors of all faiths and none can visit one of the participating mosques, where they will be welcomed to ask questions, go on guided tours and have tea and snacks with volunteers and those who run the place of worship.
“We hope that the achievement will be that people of different faiths, and those with none, will better understand us, and we will be more integrated with everybody,” Abdul Majid, chairman of the participating Camberley Mosque said.
Typically, around 300 people usually attend Friday prayers at his mosque in Surrey in the southeast of England.
“We live in a small town, so we don’t have many problems in this area. But there has been some misunderstanding in the media about Muslims, and this is the whole reason we are doing this day to foster understanding.”
Across the country, there have been more cases of Islamophobia following the attacks in Paris last November, which left 130 people dead.
According to figures by the Metropolitan Police, which is responsible for Greater London, there has been a sharp rise in Islamophobic crimes.
In December 2015, the force recorded some 158 offences across the capital, where the victims were known or perceived to be Muslim, more than 3 times as December 2014, when there were 50 Islamophobic crimes. (T/P006/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)