LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May visited Maidenhead mosque south-east of London on Sunday, as part of an initiative to encourage British to visit Mosques and learn about Islam and its message calling for peace in the world. May who covered her hair with a scarf said that it was “a very precious occasion to be able to learn about Islam and to stress that it is a peaceful religion.”
May gave a heartwarming speech to the attendees, saying the UK is a country that is open to everyone, regardless of race or religion. Mosque leaders appreciated May’s embracing gesture and hoped that the annual event, which was organised for the fourth time this year, will educate more Brits about Islam.
She was also briefed about the Islamic books as she visited a number during guiding tour at the mosque. The doors of more than 200 British mosques were opened Sunday as part of an initiative that started after the attacks of 7/7, 2005 on the transport network in London to encourage dialogue between the different faiths in the UK.
Senior UK officials participated in the initiative organized by the Muslim Council of Britain to encourage tolerance in society. The Muslim Council explained that “Visit My Mosque” day is important for society as “open doors, open mosques (mean) open societies.” Maidenhead Central Mosque, which is run by the Islamic Trust Maidenhead, displayed art efacts including a large Quran dating back to the 18th or 19th century. Islamic Trust Maidenhead assistant secretary Sajid Khan said: “It’s absolutely marvelous to see people from other communities come in and see what Islam is.” He said that this move was to dispel certain misconceptions about Islam.
“There’s a lot of negativity in the media. When people come in they see ordinary people,” he added. A talk was also given on the progress made by the mosque’s scouting group based on the Islamic faith, which launched in October last year. Other guests included RBWM leader Cllr Simon Dudley and representatives from Thames Valley Police. Visitors were given homemade cakes, guided tours and the recitation of the Quran.