LIVERPOOL – Merseyside football fans of Liverpool and Everton will team up with England’s first-ever mosque to help the city food banks, an effort that started with the inauguration of the mosque more than a century ago.
“What is important about this mosque is that it started with charity. Abdullah Quilliam opened this mosque in 1899 and he started feeding the neighborhood’s poor people,” said Mumin Khan, co-founder and CEO of the Abdullah Quilliam Society, World Bulletin reported on Monday, December 5.
“Because he loved the neighborhood’s people this is why we wanted to join the food bank project because a fundamental feature of Islam is to love your neighbors and be kind, good and helpful to your neighbors, friends and people in need.
“One of the first things Abdullah Quilliam did when he opened this mosque was invite all the people around him – children and the destitute – and he fed them on Christmas Day.”
The Abdullah Quilliam Mosque at Brougham Terrace on West Derby Road, Kensington, will become a food bank collection point for fans supporting food banks.
The decision was taken after being approached for help by Everton Supporters’ Trust (EST) and Spirit of Shankly (SOS).
Committee members of the mosque’s trust said they were “delighted” to help, saying the effort would have been a source of pride for the mosque’s Liverpool-born founder, Abdullah Quilliam.
“Abdullah Qulliam’s legacy goes on. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to work with the fans and football clubs to help the wider community. We’re delighted to help,” Galib Khan, founder and chairman of Abdullah Quilliam Society, said.
“And we know the worshippers will feel a sense of pride because they’ll feel part of it through involvement.”
The funds, donated by the mosque administration, and the food, donated by the congregation, will be collected by SOS, which will be taken to the food bank in north Liverpool.
“The mosque will be a living and breathing, fan supporting food bank point of collection,” Ian Byrne, SOS committee member, said.
“The other important thing is that we have integration. While helping needy people we’re trying to integrate the Muslim community with the wider Liverpool community so there is a social cohesion. It’s helping to eradicate the right-wing ‘Islamophobia’ rubbish that’s being spread in certain quarters.”
Dave Kelly, EST Disability and Equality Officer, added: “We deliberately set the food bank up to be an inclusive organization and to not discriminate against anyone in any way. We want to harmonize the whole community irrespective of their politics, race or religion.”