Mosques to welcome wider community through #VisitMyMosque open day

City Mosque Preston is just one of three city mosques holding a mosque open day on Sunday, February 18.
City Mosque Preston is just one of three city mosques holding a mosque open day on Sunday, February 18.

Mosques across Lancashire are opening their doors to neighbours from all faiths  as part of a nationwide incentive to learn more about the Muslim way of life.

The open day – styled as #VisitMyMosque – will see City Mosque in North Road, Quwwat Ul Islam mosque in Peel Hall Street, and Jamea Masjid mosque in Clarendon Street encourage members of Preston’s community to come along for a brew and get an insight into what happens in a mosque.

Former chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, Coun Salim Mulla, left, has welcomed the day.

Former chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, Coun Salim Mulla, left, has welcomed the day.

Nadeem Ashfaq, founder of Muslim community group The Light Foundation, said: “It’s a great opportunity for people to come to mosques and ask questions about Islam.

“Equally it’s a chance to be absolutely honest and not to sweep any issues people have under the carpet. Some people have crazy understandings of what people in mosques are like; it’s a chance to get to know fellow members of the community.”

Former chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, Blackburn Coun Salim Mullla, pictured inset, said: “I would like to see even more mosques open their doors to everyone in society.

"We are a multi-cultural society with people from lots of different backgrounds.

“It’s important to value people’s opinions. It’s all about living together and respecting each other.”

Coordinator for North of England Visit My Mosque, Faz Patel MBE, said: "More than 180 mosques are opening up for people of faith and no faith to go inside and see how a mosque works.

"So many people are intrigued as to what a mosque is like; this is a chance to come and see. It's about building a stronger and more cohesive society."

The day has been running since 2015, but efforts to connect Lancashire’s communities have been ongoing for decades.

“I introduced this kind of thing 18 years ago with the Bishop of Blackburn, Alan Chester,” Coun Mulla said.

“We held inter-faith meetings to break down barriers and to end any phobias people might have had surrounding mosques.”

More information on the day itself can be found here.