For decades, mosques up and down the country have opened their doors for visitors of other faiths to bridge the gap between Muslims and members of other faiths. However, in 2015, the national initiative, #VisitMyMosque was developed by the Muslim Council of Britain with the intention of mosques opening their doors together on one day.
Open to visitors from all faiths as well as those of no faith, the intention was simple; to unite as a people and tackle the many misconceptions lurking in society.
With the pandemic halting activities, VMM returned after two years of virtual tours this year. The long-awaited and anticipated open days are a great way to not only teach others about Islam but also take part in something simple such as sharing a cup of tea. Engaging in activities like this is seldom witnessed in a world which has become digital, which is why VMM pushes boundaries and gives people a chance to get to know one another the traditional way.
Over the past weekend, mosques from around the UK welcomed visitors to explore, learn and most importantly engage in meaningful conversations.
“Mosques are part of Britain’s vibrant and diverse landscape and this weekend captures the spirit of their role in wider society,” the MCB tweeted.
Opening doors this weekend united diverse communities and encouraged sustainable relationships from the country’s oldest to newest mosques to the country’s largest and smallest mosques.
Why Visit My Mosque Day is Important
With Islamaphobia on the constant rise, addressing misconceptions about Islam and Muslims becomes a moral responsibility. Whether that’s taking to social media or imparting knowledge through classroom settings, addressing the issue and educating others are powerful methods of bridging the gap and uniting broken minds and hearts.
Did you know that according to a YouGov poll, almost 90% of Britons have not seen the inside of a mosque? Attempting to address this and the prejudiced notion many have around Islam and Muslims, VMM began the initiative of opening mosques across the country, which many have described as a game-changing endeavour.
The open day has given members of other faiths (and none) a chance to ask those questions that many consider mundane and perhaps silly. Why pray five times a day? Why do women wear a scarf? Why is there an imam? What’s the point of a dome?
Muslims have long been in the UK which elevates the importance of integrating, educating and addressing the many questions others may have about the religion. Opening doors and welcoming people have long been a powerful way of bonding and developing lifelong relationships. A simple activity such as this can provide relief, iron the many creases of misunderstandings and give people a chance to make up their minds about Muslims and Islam.
Main Image Credit – Rumman Amin (Unsplash)