Mosque ‘reaches out’ to non-Muslims on open day
A Sheffield mosque has opened its doors to the public to reach out to non-Muslims – in a bid to dispel fears that people have towards Islam.
On their inaugural open day in conjunction with Interfaith Week 2019, Markazi Jamia Mosque on Industry Road, Darnall welcomed members of the public from different faiths.
The chair of South Yorkshire Islamic Society of Britain, Abdool Kadir Gooljar said they aimed to host various events of interfaith dialogue while acknowledging differences and finding common ground.
“It’s arguably more important than ever that people of different faiths and beliefs come together and are able to explore what they have in common.
“Pope Francis repeated his appeal for people to build bridges of understanding at his weekly audience at the Vatican. Let’s build a bridge to a new day paved in kindness and respect for others, and then cross it together,” he said.
During the dialogue, Dr Rev Inderjit Bhogal OBE, a leading Theologian and Methodist Minister, said it was high time for all leaders of different faiths to come together and build a better understanding between the communities.
“It is the most significant to help people to live with diversity and like the words of holy Quran that it is God’s own purpose that we are different so will be enriched by each other differences,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe praised the Muslim community for their generosity and kindness in times of disaster.
He said this was evident during his recent visit to Fishlake, a flood-stricken village in Doncaster that saw thousands evacuated from their homes.
Mr Coombe said: “I was in Fishlake on Friday, I went to the church there and I’ve never seen a church put in to such good use to help the victims.
“It was all being run by a church warden and his wife and some of their friends, who I can consider as senior citizens.
“So I asked, where’s your help coming from?
“They said, ‘it’s coming from everywhere and three people from a mosque in Bolton just delivered 200 freshly made sandwiches and hot food and they’re coming back tomorrow’.
“It’s a marvellous gesture from people of your community who came there and helped so soon.”
Clive Betts, the Labour candidate for Sheffield South East, who also attended the dialogue, commended the open day, saying that it helps people who aren’t familiar with the faith to come together and experience the mosque.
“They can also find out what it’s like and to get to know the people who worship here on a regular basis and dispel some fears and misconceptions that they may have,” he said.
Debbie Mcshane, who is a principal of Park Academy, said this was her first experience being in a mosque and witnessing a prayer.
“I found out about this because this is one of the local mosques for our students and a couple of members of our staff come here and asked if I’d like to come for their open day.
“I came an hour early and I’ve seen the community coming to pray and spoke to a lot of people and it’s really nice to see how a mosque works because I didn’t know.
“This is a completely new experience for me because I’ve never been to one before,” she said.