SHAFAQNA – Trowbridge Mosque a town in England opened its doors to the public over the weekend in hope of increasing understanding of Islam and to address any misconceptions about the religion.
The monthly meeting, which started late last year, has seen a steady number of residents make their way through the doors of the mosque in Longfield Road with many asking questions about how the religion is often seen linked to recent terror attacks.
Farzana Saker, a volunteer and member of the mosque said she hopes that more people visit so that misunderstandings regarding Islam and Muslims can be put right.
“The aim of the open day is to provide an opportunity for people to ask questions about the mosque and our religion especially under the current circumstances because there are so many misconceptions of Muslims,” she added.
“The day was the chance for us to improve understanding and remove stereotypes and the image which a lot of people have.
“When the mosque opens, it is for all communities to meet and understand one another but also work together.
“As well as welcoming people in, it is equally important that we go out into other places of worship and understand other religions and cultures too.”
Throughout the day, the mosque was visited by residents, community groups and councillors who heard from Kamel Jeddi who gave a short talk about how national media reports often fail to report Muslim’s condemnation of terror attacks.
He also highlighted how within the religion, Muslims are guided and must observe rule of law of the country they are living in.
Mrs Saker added: “I think it will take a little more time before we have people who have some challenging questions to ask but the more we get out in the community the better.
“One thing we would like to see is more neighbours to the mosque coming in. Those living in the Longfield area are next to us and it would be nice to see them come in and ask us questions.
“People see the misconceptions in the media and they are not aware of the teachings of Islam which isn’t about fighting or terror at all and we need to address that.
“At the end of the day, everyone is responsible to think of their own safety and other people’s safety but I think it is wrong to tarnish the Muslim community with the same brush that has been used in reporting on the terror attacks.”
The mosque opens to the public on the last Saturday of every month between 2-4pm.
Following the terrorist attacks by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), in Europe, Muslims are trying to show the real face of Islam.