More than 700 people visited recently the Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre in Stoke Poges Lane, Slough, England to watch an exhibition about Islam and Muslims.
The extensive exhibition explained not only the Muslim faith and the life of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) but also detailed Islam’s historical connections with the UK and Ireland as well as its contributions to the world of science.
The exhibition transformed the mosque into a thriving museum, open to everyone. It was created by Slough-based company Exhibition Islam, which has delivered similar exhibitions all over the world but never before in Slough, England.
Project Manager Umar Ansari said: “The purpose is to educate people about Islam and the history of Muslims in Britain. Education is really the only way to counter the negative stories we hear about Muslims and some of the stereotypes and misunderstandings about our religion.”
The exhibition begins with a timeline, showing Muslims were first recognized in Britain in the eighth century when King Offa of Mercia minted a gold coin inscribed, ‘There is no God but Allah alone’.
Umar said, “This coin was made as a way of welcoming Muslims into England as trading partners.
“It’s interesting because it’s a world away from the black and white photographs you see of Muslims coming to Britain in the 60s and 70s.
“That’s when most people think Muslims first came to Britain but this shows that Muslims and Britain have a very rich, shared history.”
Children from surrounding primary schools also visited the exhibition and were given talks about the items on display.