- What is Visit My Mosque Day?
#VisitMyMosque day is a national initiative facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and its affiliates, where mosques across the UK organise open days, inviting in their neighbours for tea, biscuits, cakes and an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship. For further information, visit the About page.
- Why are you doing a Visit My Mosque Day?
Open days are nothing new, as mosques across Britain have been holding open days for many years, welcoming in their neighbours and building strong relationships with their local communities. Many even do it 3 or 4 times a year, if not more.
- What benefits do you hope the initiative will achieve?
Visit My Mosque day is overall about improving community cohesion, by:
- 1. Encouraging all mosques in Britain to hold an open day at least once per year
- 2. Fostering better community relations and community cohesion for the good of society as a whole
- 3. Working for a more enlightened appreciation of Islam and Muslims in the wider society
- 4. Working to reduce misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in Britain.
- 5. Celebrating the vast array of charitable, outreach and social action projects performed by mosques in Britain.
- Why are there only 150 mosques participating? Why are not all mosques participating?
Many mosques already do open days regularly at other times of the year and the timing of this national ‘Visit My Mosque’ day on 7th Feb 2017 did not work for them. Some mosques have not had enough time or resources to organise one while others have building refurbishment work. In some areas where there are 2 or 3 mosques in the same area, they will share resources by hosting their open day at just one mosque in the area and invite their neighbours to that.
- Why are there no mosques in my area taking part?
We are sorry that no mosques near you were able to take part this year. This is often due to logistical reasons, building refurbishment work or because they have already held an open day recently. We hope to reach out to more mosques and get more involved next year. Please tell us which mosques in your area you’d like to visit by going to www.visitmymosque.org/find-my-mosque/cant-find-a-mosque and we’ll try to get in touch with them to invite them to take part, or ask them to host a separate visit for you at an alternative time.
- Why are some mosques not doing their open day on 5th February 2017?
For logistical reasons, a handful of mosques have scheduled their open days on neighbouring days or on the following weekend. This is due to other events already scheduled for the 5th February 2017 but they didn’t want to miss out on being part of the national ‘Visit My Mosque’ day initiative.
- Why are mosques only open on ‘one’ day of the year?
Actually most mosques have an open door policy and anyone can walk in at any time of their year. Many mosques organise events where people of other faiths and none are welcome to attend and many mosques already organise open days regularly. Visit My Mosque day is just an initiative where mosques have timed their open days to be on the same day.
- Why not do this more than once a year?
Many mosques already hold regular open days throughout the year. In addition, you don’t have to wait for an open day to visit your local mosque, most mosques are open and you can just walk in at any time, or you can contact them in advance to arrange to meet someone there.
- Who are the organisers of Visit My Mosque?
Visit My Mosque is organised by the hundreds of volunteers across the UK who have taken time out of their Sunday to open up their local mosque, send invitations to their neighbours, and be available on the day to meet & greet neighbours and answer their questions. At a national level, Visit My Mosque is facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain who have a steering committee to coordinate the day.
- Why don’t Muslims visits Churches, Temples, Synagogues/other places of worship?
Interfaith work is very important and many Muslim communities are already very active in interfaith work. They regularly make visits to their local churches, forming relationships with their congregations and maintaining those relationships throughout the year through regular events. For example, see cases of recent visits by Muslim congregations to other places of worship here: www.mcb.org.uk/interfaith-visits-spread-in-run-up-to-visitmymosque-day/ Islam – like other great faiths of the world – places great emphasis on improving inter-religious understanding between people of different backgrounds and traditions. The UK National Interfaith Week in November is often a focal point for mosques, churches and other places of worship too.
- What can I expect to see when I enter a mosque?
Each mosque will be different. You will be welcomed by volunteers at a registration desk and probably directed to a main hall where there will be some tea and refreshments. Some mosques will put on guided tours of the building, while others may play a video or have exhibitions/poster display e.g. about Islam, or showcasing recent charity initiatives undertaken by the mosque.
- Do mosques have a dress code?
Mosques will differ on dress code. Like many places of worship, such as historic church sites in France or Italy, mosques may ask guests to respect the sacredness of the building by for example, asking men to wear long trousers or women to wear long skirts or a shawl.
Have more questions? Get in touch via the Contact page.