What is ‘Visit My Mosque Day’ and why is it happening?

The fifth consecutive Visit My Mosque Day will see mosques across the country open their doors to people of all faiths.

The aim of the annual event is to welcome individuals of various backgrounds to learn more about Islam, all the while forging stronger connections between different religious communities.

The initiative has grown substantially over the past few years, with more than 200 mosques across the UK set to take part in the annual event.

Here’s everything you need to know about Visit My Mosque Day 2019:

What is it?

Visit My Mosque Day is an initiative facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain that encourages people of all faiths to visit mosques as part of a nationwide event.

While mosque open days have been taking place in the UK for decades, this particular initiative was first held in February 2015.M

The event has grown considerably over the past four years, beginning with 20 participating mosques in its inaugural year.

Since then, this figure has increased to include 10 times the number of mosques across the country.

In 2018, prime minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan all took part in the day by visiting their local mosques.

“[This is] a great opportunity for people here in Maidenhead to come and learn a little more about the Islamic faith,” May said during her visit.

“There’s a lot of mystique around mosques and masjids,” Khan stated on the day.

The event is run by hundreds of volunteers across the country.

When is it taking place?

This year, Visit My Mosque Day is taking place on Sunday 3 March.

The Visit My Mosque website urges people to get in touch if they’d like to visit a mosque that isn’t participating in the event, so that the mosque can be invited to take part or asked to hold an open day on a separate occasion.

Where is it taking place?

More than 200 mosques are taking part in this year’s Visit My Mosque Day.

To find your nearest local mosque participating in the event, click here.

Why is it taking place?

The primary aim of Visit My Mosque Day is to make people of all faiths feel welcome visiting mosques and learning about Islam.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the initiative, on Sunday 24 February more than 250 mosques across the UK took part in the Great British Spring Cleancampaign in collaboration with Keep Britain Tidy.

The event saw volunteers of all ages and faiths pick up litter from 10am until 12pm on the day.

“We are pleased to be supporting Keep Britain Tidy in their Great British Spring Clean campaign this spring,” said Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

“We hope Visit My Mosque going green will spark conversations across the country on what more faith-based and other community groups can be doing to support local environmental causes”

On Tuesday 26 February, Muslim faith leaders from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland visited churches, synagogues, mandirs and gurdwaras across the country in the lead up to Visit My Mosque Day.

“It was a privilege to visit the West London Synagogue today,” Harun Khan said following his visit.

“I strongly encourage more of my fellow Muslims to visit other faith institutions as this will only make our bonds stronger as we have more in common than what divides us.”

Dr Harriet Crabtree, executive director of The Inter Faith Network for the UK, explained the importance of building close relationships between communities of different faiths.

“Mutual exchange of visits to community places of worship is an important part of building and strengthening good interfaith relations,” Dr Crabtree said.

Source: The Independent

Featured photo: Courtesy/Afzal Khan 

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