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'We want to build a community bridge' - Norwich mosque throws open its doors to the public

PUBLISHED: 13:04 11 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:04 11 November 2017

Gail Harris, deputy leader of the City Council, takes a look at the Quran with Surajul Islam at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Gail Harris, deputy leader of the City Council, takes a look at the Quran with Surajul Islam at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

A mosque in the heart of Norwich has opened its doors to the community to share its faith and dispel any fears.

The Quran open for visitors at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Quran open for visitors at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Rose Lane Mosque, officially the East Anglian Islamic Centre, welcomed hundreds through its doors during the exhibition day in the city centre on Saturday.

Its goal was to encourage people to learn about Islam, its history and its teachings, and dispel an image of extremism which is often portrayed in the media.

During the day, people were invited to browse the information on display, go on tours, enjoy refreshments, observe prayer and ask questions.

Visitors at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVisitors at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sirajul Islam, from the mosque, said: “It’s an initiative of ours to invite people in the community and people of other faiths to share what we believe, what we practice and our way of life.

“The reaction we have is very positive - we’ve been holding these for three or four years and we are getting more interest every time.”

Within two hours of the event opening, the team said they had already welcomed about 100 people through the doors.

Gail Harris, deputy leader of the City Council, takes a look at the Quran at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGail Harris, deputy leader of the City Council, takes a look at the Quran at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Islam said: “This is our main duty now, we feel, to talk to people and to share the knowledge. There are things committed around the world in the name of faith that are not really faith at all, and we condemn any harm against other people.”

He said the mosque rarely experienced any aggressive behaviour from people in Norwich and that the community as a whole was welcoming.

Previous exhibition days, he said, had also been popular with those in the local area.

Visitors at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVisitors at the Islamic Centre Mosque open day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And when asked what his message to the public would be, he said: “We welcome everyone to our mosque. It’s open every day, most of the day. Anyone can come along and see what’s going on.

“We want to share things with the community - we are in favour of co-operation and cohesion and we want to build a community bridge.

“Thank you everyone for the support - we want to work together to build a better future for our city.”

• Do you have an story we should be writing about? Let us know by emailing lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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