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Morgan Freeman Pays Surprise Visit to London Mosque

LONDON – Muslim worshippers at Al-Khoei Foundation mosque in London received a surprise visit from Hollywood star Morgan Freeman, who attended the mosque service last Tuesday, October 11, to learn more about the Ashura festival for a new documentary.

“We hope that he will champion the cause of bringing understanding about and between faith communities on the world scene,” Yousif Al-Khoei of the Al-Khoei Foundation Mosque in Kilburn told Harrow Times on Saturday, October 15.

“I hope this series will help to dispel things like islamophobia, anti-semitism and shiaphobia.

The visit was planned after the foundation was approached by researchers from National Geographic who were interested in the Ashura commemorations for a documentary.

The organizers kept Freeman’s appearance a secret until his arrival, whereupon the actor sat and listened to the speakers and spoke to those gathered for the service.

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Al-Khoei noted the film star “seemed quite interested” in the commemoration.Morgan Freeman Pays Surprise Visit to London Mosque-1

Fasting the 9th and the 10th of Muharram is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that goes back to a long time before imam Hussein.

For Sunnis, `Ashura’ marks the day that Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, was saved from the Egypt’s pharaoh.

Muslim scholars have agreed that it is good to fast on the day of `Ashura’, although it is not obligatory.

`Ashura also marks the killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) in the year 680 AD in Karbala.

Black flags, which represent a symbol of sadness for Shiites during Ashura, are seen over Karbala.

Shiites make up around 15 percent of Muslims worldwide.

They represent the majority populations in Iraq, Iran and Bahrain and form significant communities in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The surprise visit was all part of National Geographic’s new TV miniseries called “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.”

In the miniseries, Freeman delves into religious history.

The National Geographic miniseries follows Freeman as he travels to 20 cities in seven different countries in a quest to find answers to the mysteries of faith.