Two mosques in Sheffield will open their doors to all this weekend as part of a nationwide Visit My Mosque day aimed at tackling prejudice around Muslims and Islam.
The event, organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, will see more than 150 mosques across country opened to the public so that "neighbours" can "visit and explore this Great British institution."
Thousands of people are expected to visit participating mosques in the third annual ‘Visit My Mosque’ Day on Sunday.
Mosques across the UK will be sharing tea and biscuits, alongside an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship including the Muslim Welfare Home of Sheffield on Severn Road and the Jamia Masjid and Usmania Education Centre in Leyburn Road. Both will open to all between noon and 4pm.
VisitMyMosque Day aims to provide a platform for Muslims to reach out to fellow Britons and explain their faith and community beyond the negative media headlines. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions they may have about Muslims or the general faith of Islam.
This year’s Visit My Mosque Day will showcase how mosques are great British institutions.
A spokeman for MCB said: "They do this by not only being a spiritual focal point, but also by serving their localities and helping people of all faiths and none by running food banks, feed-the-homeless projects, neighbourhood street cleans, local fundraising and much more.
For example, Khizra Mosque in Manchester has run a monthly food collection to support up to seven local families. While the Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicestershire fundraised £20,000 in just three weeks for a new scanner at Glenfield Hospital. Worshippers at the East London Mosque donated 10 tonnes of food for the homeless at Christmas. Last year it was estimated that British Muslims gave approximately £100 million to charitable causes during the holy month of Ramadan: that’s approximately £38 a second.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said, “As the world recoils at President Trump’s so called ‘Muslim Ban’ and now the mass killing at a mosque in Canada, #VisitMyMosque is a much needed antidote to the poisonous atmosphere we find ourselves in.
"This Sunday 5 February, the British public, Muslim and non-Muslim have an opportunity to come together and renew bonds of friendship.”
He continued, “Visit My Mosque Day is our chance to welcome fellow Britons to our diverse community. In previous years we were moved by how the great British public has taken part in the day, some travelling dozens of miles to find their local mosques, and the level of enthusiasm in the number of mosques who have invited their neighbours to share in the experience has increased each year. Now its third year, we hope that Visit My Mosque Day becomes a great British institution for years to come.”
Visit My Mosque is open to men, women and children of all ages. Anyone can search for their nearest participating mosque at www.visitmymosque.org/find