THE THORNABY Mosque on Teeside, North East England, was defaced by graffiti after the London Bridge attack. The words “Muslim cowards” were sprayed on the side of the Mosque.
But hate turned to goodwill when the Mosque held an open day to dispel myths about Muslims in the wider community. There was huge interest, with a mixed crowd of hundreds, including leaders of other faith communities and local residents of all ages, turning out to support the Mosque and its congregation. Residents took a tour of the Mosque and heard about various aspects of Islam. Female visitors were able to try on Islamic clothing.
Local residents welcomed the open day as a good chance to reject Islamophobia and show solidarity with the local Muslim community – and show their children that Muslims are peaceful people.
Organisers were very pleased with the turnout and recommended that other Mosques should considering trying out a similar initiative. Dr Nav Ahmad, a surgeon at a local hospital who is involved with the Mosque, summed up the sentiment of the day, saying, “You always need two hands to have a handshake.”
Local police are treating the graffiti as a hate crime.
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