IN PICTURES: Mosque opens its doors for community to learn more about faith

Community Day at Boston Mosque. Susan Fox and Patrick Fox 14 of Horncastle. EMN-180220-102229001

The Mayor of Boston and a number of councillors joined residents and visitors in learning more about the Muslim faith and community at an open day on Sunday.

The event, at the Mosque on Horncastle Road, in Boston, included various displays explaining more about the religion and its customs and beliefs - as well as refreshments offered to visitors.

Mayor of Boston Coun Brian Rush, deputy Coun Barrie Pierpoint and Mayoress Jayne Rush and members and visitors to the mosque. Photo supplied.

Mujeeb Pervez, a member of the mosque committee, responsible for the mosque management and lead for inter-faith affairs, said the event was part of the national event ‘visit my mosque’.

He said: “From the mosque point of view it went very well. The turn out was excellent. There were people who were first time visitors, and also those who have visited the mosque before.

“We had a fair number of guests from the Boston council and of course the mayor and mayoress. Priests from churches also visited. People showed interest in the displayed information, mingled with members of the Muslim community and asked lots of questions about Islam and Muslims.

“We are confident that this would help the general public understand the Islamic faith and clear the misconceptions that some people have about Islam and Muslims.

Community Day at Boston Mosque. Councillor Sue Ransome with Habib Ahmad. EMN-180220-102207001

“We, the Muslim community of Boston, endeavour to positively contribute to the Boston community. We hope to build bridges with such events.”

Coun Brian Rush, the Mayor of Boston, said: “It went brilliant, and let me tell you something, I’m actually overwhelmed by how much myth busting went on and if indeed these people are any way genuine, and I have no reason to doubt that, it was brilliant.

“Their explanations of their faiths, religions and beliefs was illuminating.

“They were so welcoming and the curry was also brilliant.

Community Day at Boston Mosque. L-R Christine Bossley, Elena O'Callaghan, Anna Kusztyb, Arif Mateen. EMN-180220-102252001

“There was a great deal of warmth and explanation.

“They were very open and honest and there was no suggestion of us taking part in religious celebrations unless we wanted to.

“They carried on with prayers openly before coming back and speaking to us - we couldn’t have asked for a better reception.”

Coun Rush was criticised by councillors at an Extraordinay General Meeting last week as he was called upon to step down from his role over posts on his social media.

Community Day at Boston Mosque. Councillor Yvonne Stevens with Dr Mohammad Malik EMN-180220-102218001

He had previously told the BBC that councillors were unwilling to meet with the Muslim community despite meetings being arranged.

However, fellow councillors argued this was not the case stating that one arranged meeting was cancelled twice and that they were not invited to another one.

In response, Coun Rush challenged his fellow members to attend Sunday’s event.

Sue Ransome was one of those who accepted the Mosque’s invitation.

She said: “I really enjoyed it and have been down this morning to take a thank you card.

“We stayed for a while and had long conversations with the congregation. It was really informal and friendly.

Community Day at Boston Mosque. Viven Edge with Dr Umar Dar. EMN-180220-102156001

“We were really welcomed. I didn’t expect to have curry for Sunday breakfast but it was lovely.

“They certainly were very, very friendly and dispelled quite a few myths.

“I was asking about women in their faith and it appears from the man that we were speaking to that they’re treated just the same as the men. They have their own room upstairs where they pray but that’s how they do things.

“I was speaking to one man who was telling me how to find out more about my great-grandmother who was originally from India.

“It’s made me want to find out more about my heritage.”

Coun Paul Gleeson also said it was very interesting to go along and very welcoming.

He said he had a chance to learn about efforts the Mosque and its members had made to interact with the community, including two previous events teaching people CPR and raising money for the British Heart Foundation.

He said: “While I was there a dozen people not from the mosque entered and took part so hopefully they will be able to break down some barriers.”

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