Over the weekend, thousands of Britons took part in virtual mosque tours across the UK as part of the Muslim Council of Britain’s Visit My Mosque Day and The Great Get Together. Whilst Visit My Mosque Day is held every year for mosques across Britain to open their doors to the public, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this took place digitally instead with mosques hosting online interactive sessions.
Visitors were able to register online to “visit” mosques of their choosing, and ask questions to members of the mosques about their facilities, congregation and work in the community, particularly during the pandemic. The tours, hosted over Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube, were viewed by thousands of people, this being the first time many had ever seen the inside of a mosque.
One of the mosques participating was Cambridge Central Mosque, Europe’s first eco-mosque, which has also delivered more than 1,000 food packages to staff at the local Royal Papworth Hospital during lockdown. In addition, Old Kent Road Mosque in South London, home to London’s oldest Nigerian Muslim community offered insights into the #BlackLivesMatter movement and how the mosque positively impacts on the local community.
Samer Haque, Head of Youth at UKIM Masjid Ibrahim, one of the participating mosques, said:
“Alhumdulillah [praise be to God] we are honoured to be a service to the community working towards all-inclusiveness. We firmly believe in providing a space for our people, those from all backgrounds, special educational needs and the youth. The virtual mosque tour enables us to invite members of our society to our Masjid [mosque], so we can work together holistically to achieve our goal and vision.”
One of the attendees of the tours, Rachel Choo, a PhD student from York, said:
“I signed up for my first tour by Finsbury Park Mosque not knowing what to expect and was completely blown away. There was a wide selection of activities – videos that show what they have been doing over the past few years as well as in the past few months, short speeches from members of the community as well as timely discussion of racism around us. I was especially heartened to see that women also hold prominent roles in the mosque.”
Notes to Editors:
#VisitMyMosque Day is a national initiative where mosques across the UK hold open days annually to welcome in their neighbours of all faiths and none. Further information is available at www.visitmymosque.org
This year due to lockdown, mosques instead offered virtual tours between Friday 19 and Sunday 21 June, sharing with visitors how they have been supporting their local communities during lockdown and their hopes for a post-lockdown future.
#VisitMyMosque is facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest and most-diverse Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated mosques, educational and charitable associations.
This year’s initiative was supported by British Muslim-led charities Penny Appeal, Euro Quality Foundation and the Aziz Foundation, and was also timed to take place during the same weekend as The Great Get Together campaign, inspired by the late MP Jo Cox.