UK Muslims Open Doors, Hearts in Trowbridge

SOMERSET – Promoting true manners of Islam and Muslims, the Islamic center in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, opened its doors to public over the weekend, welcoming neighbors wishing to know more about the faith and addressing any misconceptions they might hold.

“The aim of the open day is to provide an opportunity for people to ask questions about the mosque and our religion especially under the current circumstances because there are so many misconceptions of Muslims,” Farzana Saker, a volunteer and member of the mosque, told Trowbridge Times.

“The day was the chance for us to improve understanding and remove stereotypes and the image which a lot of people have.

“When the mosque opens, it is for all communities to meet and understand one another but also work together.

“As well as welcoming people in, it is equally important that we go out into other places of worship and understand other religions and cultures too.”

The event, held monthly in Trowbridge Mosque, started late last year.

Ever since, it has seen a steady number of residents make their way through the doors of the mosque in Longfield Road with many asking questions about how the religion is often seen linked to recent extremist attacks.

Visitors included residents, community groups and councilors who came to hear from Muslims’ month.

“I think it will take a little more time before we have people who have some challenging questions to ask but the more we get out in the community the better,” Saker said.

“One thing we would like to see is more neighbors to the mosque coming in. Those living in the Longfield area are next to us and it would be nice to see them come in and ask us questions.

“People see the misconceptions in the media and they are not aware of the teachings of Islam which isn’t about fighting or terror at all and we need to address that.

“At the end of the day, everyone is responsible to think of their own safety and other people’s safety but I think it is wrong to tarnish the Muslim community with the same brush that has been used in reporting on the terror attacks.”