Whilst mosque open days in Britain have been taking place for decades, Visit My Mosque as a national initiative started off in February 2015 as a humble attempt by the Muslim Council of Britain at bringing together initially 20 mosques across the UK to hold their open days on the same day of the year.
In 2016 the campaign grew to 80+ participating mosques, includes mosques from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for the first time and significant national and local media coverage. As more and more mosque leaders and volunteers from across the UK got involved, the campaign continued to grow to 150 mosques in 2017, 200 in 2018 and over 250 mosques in 2019. Visitors can find their local participating mosque at www.visitmymosque.org/find
In 2018 a YouGov poll found that 70% of Britons had never visited a place of worship other than their own. In the multi-cultural and multi-religious British society of today. This must change because just as we visit our friends and neighbours at their homes and host them in our home, communities visiting and hosting each other helps break down barriers and builds bridges, trust and understanding.
Visit My Mosque promotes better outreach and engagement work between mosques and their diverse local communities across Britain throughout the year – not just on Visit My Mosque Day itself – as it is essential that long-term relationships grow and flourish for years to come at a grassroots level. Muslim communities are also encouraged to visit Churches, Synagogues, Mandirs, Gurdwaras and other places of worship to learn more about other faiths.
Since 2018, “How to Run a Mosque Open Day” training workshops are held annually in cities across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Wales, Scotland, Sheffield, Liverpool, Blackburn, Bradford, Leicester, Luton and Slough.
The workshops build on the suite of free templates, checklists and other resources that mosque open day organisers can download online from www.visitmymosque.org/resources. They also provide an opportunity for mosque leaders and volunteers in the same city or region to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas and best practice.
On 3 March 2019 with 250+ participating mosques, Visit My Mosque went green to support #KeepBritainTidy and the annual Great British Spring Clean in March-April 2019.
“Opening doors equals building bridges, and this is what we stand for”
Ashford and Staines Comunity Centre
On 18 February 2018, over 200 mosques in Britain held an open day. A YouGov poll found that 90% of Britons had never visited a mosque and over 70% had never visited a place of worship other than their own in recent years.
Prime Minister Theresa May, Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, joined tens of thousands of visitors at the open days.
On 5 February 2017, thousands of Britons flocked to their local mosque in response the so-called “Muslim ban” by US President Donald Trump. Donald Trump thought Islam is incompatible with the West. Britain’s mosques prove otherwise. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream also encouraged Britons to try a different flavour!
Visit My Mosque Day started in February 2015 with 20 mosque taking part, and grew to over 80 participating mosques in 2016, with England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all taking part for the first time.
If you have any further queries or comments about Visit My Mosque, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here!