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Keighley mosque in first ever open day
12:10pm Saturday 30th November 2013 in Keighley
Keighley’s biggest mosque hosted an inaugural open day in an attempt to break down barriers between Muslims and the wider community.
Many youngsters and adults attended the event in Emily Street’s Markazi Jamia Mosque last Wednesday.
The gathering formed part of Interfaith Week, and was arranged by the Keighley Muslim Association (KMA) with support from Bradford Council’s Children’s Services through the Diversity and Cohesion Service.
Guests were treated to tours of the mosque, a meal, qur’anic and Islamic poetry recitations and opportunities to ask questions about the faith.
Organiser Mohammed Saleem, who is KMA’s community relations and education officer, said: “I was extremely pleased and overwhelmed with the turnout.
“Islam is misunderstood in the West, often due to the wrongdoings of an individual or group who are Muslims by name but not by nature.
“A sinful act by any Muslim individual doesn’t mean Islam is wrong. It is these individuals who have wronged themselves. Islam is peaceful, like other religions.
“I’d like to thank all those who helped with the event and supported it by attending.”
Addressing guests during the evening, Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Khad-im Hussain said: “We need to understand and accommodate our differences, while building on what we have in common.
“The purpose of religion is to shape human beings so they can serve humanity. Anything that doesn’t do that does not deserve to be called a religion.”
Keighley schoolchildren were among the groups invited to the occasion.
Holy Family Catholic School deputy headteacher Damian Moore said: “The Islamic community makes an invaluable contribution to the town’s economic and social status, and we were delighted to enhance the already strong friendship that exists between our school and the mosques.”
Many of the mosque’s regular worshippers also took part in the day.
Utley resident Anayat Mohammed, 50, said: “Events like these are very much needed in communities such as Keighley. This can only be good for Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths.”
Bishop of Bradford the Right Reverend Nick Baines was unable to attend, but voiced his support. “I applaud this initiative of welcome and hospitality that brings people of different faiths together,” he said. “Knowing people is always better than knowing about people.”