Record Number of Britons Show Solidarity with Muslims on Largest Ever #VisitMyMosque Day

PRESS RELEASE: 05 February 2017

Record Number of Britons Show Solidarity with Muslims on Largest Ever #VisitMyMosque Day

Highest ever number of visitors share tea and biscuits with their Muslim neighbours as third ‘Visit My Mosque’ Day comes to a close

Over 150 mosques across Britain opened their doors today for the third annual Visit My Mosque Day. With dozens if not hundreds reported to have attended each mosque, this could well be one of the largest attended open mosque day campaigns in the world. 

#VisitMyMosque Day, facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), provides a platform for Muslims to reach out to fellow Britons and explain their faith and community beyond the headlines.

Speaking at the national launch event in Khizra Mosque, Manchester, Muslim Council of Britain Secretary General Harun Khan, said, “We hope that Visit My Mosque Day will become a great British institution, as so many British Muslims opened the doors to their mosques and their hearts. We were also moved by the record numbers who came in solidarity with Muslims in the face of the hostile atmosphere they find themselves in.”

“Now more than ever, we need initiatives like #VisitMyMosque as antidotes to the poisonous atmosphere of fear and distrust rippling through society in the wake of recent events.”

A Thank You video has been released after today’s 150+ events:

#VisitMyMosque 2017 – Thank You Video
 

Faith, Civil and Political Leaders Participation

With over 150 mosques taking part – almost double the number that took part last year – many faith, civil and political leaders also participated.

The Bishop of Liverpool and of Salford are among the main faith leaders who attended. More MPs than ever before attended a mosque open day in their local constituencies. They include minister Ben Gummer, leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry and numerous other MPs including David Lammy,  Gareth Thomas, Patrick Grady, Kirsty Blackman, Mike Gapes, Chi Onuwarah, Neil Coyle, Maggie Throup, Wes Streeting, Ian Lucas, Kelvin Hopkins, Stephen Timms, Jeff Smith and Stephen McPartland.

Speaking at the London launch event at Finsbury Park Mosque, Jeremy Corbyn spoke about how bad rhetoric results in acts of hate, and the importance of endorsing values of respect to bring communities together. With a particular note to Donald Trump, he said, “Drinking tea together is far more effective than pouring concrete to build walls.”
British Mosques: Helping their Local Communities

This year the Muslim Council of Britain showcased a number of mosques who helped their local communities through social action projects.

For example, Glasgow Central Mosque run a regular blood donation drive in partnership with the NHS, while Jamia Masjid Al-Medina Mosque in Middlesbrough hosted a Boxing Day feast for the homeless last December.

Mosques in Bolton organise volunteers for regular street litter picking runs and Cheadle Mosque Association fundraises hundreds of pounds for Children in Need after Friday prayers. Last year it was estimated that British Muslims gave approximately £100 million to charitable causes during the holy month of Ramadan: that’s approximately £38 a second.

A video featuring further examples of mosque’s social action work was also released. Watch here: https://youtu.be/iJ1yia7Sam4

The full list of mosques that took part today can be found online at  www.visitmymosque.org/find

A small number of mosques will be holding their open days this coming weekend 11th and 12th February for logistical reasons.
[ends]

Notes to Editors:

  1. #VisitMyMosque day is a national initiative where over 150 mosques across the UK are holding open days to welcome in their neighbours from all faiths and none. It is facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest umbrella body of mosques and Islamic associations.
  1. Participating mosques on 5th February 2017 are listed on www.visitmymosque.org.
  1. The list of participating mosques represents the diversity in Islamic traditions, with mosques from a wide variety of Islamic schools of thought and traditions taking part, including some of the country’s largest mosques seasoned in doing outreach activities, as well as smaller mosques holding open days for the first time.
  1. A mosque is a place of worship for those practicing the Islamic faith, where five daily congregational prayers are held, led by an imam (prayer leader) and serve as community hubs offering a range of activities and facilities. One of the oldest mosque’s in Britain was established in 1887.
  1. In the run-up to ‘Visit My Mosque’ Day 2017, a number of mosques participated and have helped to organise interfaith exchanges and visits, ranging from observing church services to peace walks to interfaith conferences. Further information here: www.mcb.org.uk/interfaith-visits-spread-in-run-up-to-visitmymosque-day/
  1. The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

7. For further information please contact:
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
London
E1 2WJ
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079
media@mcb.org.uk