Mosque to open doors to all

Re­li­gion: Imam hopes com­mu­nity day will pro­mote mu­tual un­der­stand­ing

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - News - BY IAIN RAMAGE

The UK’s most northerly mosque will open its doors next month as part of an event of­fer­ing non-Mus­lims an in­sight into Is­lam.

VisitMyMosque Day, pro­moted by the Mus­lim Coun­cil of Bri­tain, aims to make mosques more ac­ces­si­ble and to high­light their char­i­ta­ble work.

In­ver­ness mosque founder and Imam Wa­heedKhan is op­ti­mistic the event will demon­strate “trans­parency”.

He said: “This is a na­tional cel­e­bra­tion aimed at help­ing to in­te­grate mosques into so­ci­ety.

“We’re not a ghetto. It’s also an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to see what good work the mosque is do­ing.

“The city has a her­itage of friend­li­ness so we’ve been lucky. Most of our peo­ple have main­line busi­nesses like Asian restau­rants and jobs in the NHS so they’ve in­te­grated very well. This is a day for them to in­vite their friends and other peo­ple.”

The doors will open be­tween 10am and 6pm on Fe­bru­ary 5 towel come peo­ple “of all faiths and none” to ex­plore the ar­chi­tec­ture and his­tory of the build­ing and the be­liefs and prac­tices of those who wor­ship there.

It will fea­ture tours, in­for­ma­tion stands, henna tat­toos, free re­fresh­ments, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties and a chance to ob­serve prayers.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from re­li­gious groups, the po­lice, schools and com­mu­nity groups have been in­vited.

In­ver­ness, Nairn, Bade­noch and Strath­spey MP Drew Hendry said: “Hav­ing been present at the open­ing and hav­ing seen how the mosque is en­gag­ing with the com­mu­nity, I’m de­lighted they’re hold­ing this event.

“I hope many peo­ple will head along to have a look and, hope­fully, make some new friends.”

Mus­lims travel from as far as Shet­land, Skye and Fort Wil­liam to wor­ship at the mosque.

It moved from a tem­po­rary home at the North­ern Meet­ing Park to the for­mer Rangers sup­port­ers’ Port­land Club premises in 2014 to ac­com­mo­date greater num­bers.

The Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in the north has dou­bled to more than 500 in the past 10 years.

Pho­to­graph: Sandy McCook

PRAYERS: In­ver­ness Mosque will open its doors to the pub­lic on Fe­bru­ary 5.

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