‘Visit My Mosque’ brings the ​Reading community together.

On the 18th February, the newly built Reading Mosque, Abu Bakr, joined the national Visit My Mosque Event.

 

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The Abu Baqr Mosque/Masjid welcomed the local community to explore its’ grounds from 13:00 to 17:30 on Sunday 18th.

 

With, food from all cultures, activities for children – including colouring and henna- and private tours, mosques around the UK opened their doors to the wider community, seeking to educate society and bring community cohesion to the town.

Members of Abu Bakr spared no expense as they gathered local volunteers, from local Muslim families, to cook food, bake cakes and serve hot drinks.

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All kinds of food and drinks were enjoyed from Pakoras to Pizza’s, to Jammie Dodgers and traditional Turkish tea.

They also showcased live prayers and educated the general public on what Islam means to them, accompanied by presentations, posters, and speeches.

 

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Volunteers’ spanned from teenagers, parents and even the Imams’ themselves. All offering their knowledge and experience with the religion.

 

Visitors came from different backgrounds, from Atheists, Christian communities and Transgender communities.

Local R.E teacher, at Little Heath School, Joseph Eden, was emailed by an imam and brought along his family to introduce them to these new environments.

I brought my children and they are totally comfortable”.

Eden also observed the exclusive live prayer, which helps people to understand what goes on behind the Mosque doors.

“We got a feel for it, in action. It was relaxing. Massively enjoyable.”

Mum of three, and ex-journalist, Linda Bowlyer felt the effect this has on the wider community.

“We are uneducated in society, we need education.”

She believes “uneducated idiots equals bigots.”

 

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The leaflets on offer answered many questions for people. For instance Islams controversial gender issues.

 

Local police officers also joined. Primarily as prevention for potential Islamophobic acts of violence, but it was also beneficial for those who fight Islamophobia to further understand the community.

Officers, Lee Legget and Simon Read, seem to have benefited from the experience.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming here today, I thought it was only for Muslims.”

Legget went on to say: “ I never would have come in if the police weren’t invited.”

 

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Volunteers and guests got to discuss both their experiences with Islam, Islamophobia and wider community cohesion.

 

They both came out positive.

“We have enjoyed the experience.”

“Live and let live,” they said.

 

 

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