Different mosques across Australia opened their doors Saturday, October 26, for the sixth National Mosque Open Day, welcoming visitors with food, warm feelings and an eagerness to share values, Canberra Times reported.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to see so many people coming, so many people coming from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different parts of the world, different understandings, and interacting with each other,” Abdul Bari, the president of the Canberra Muslim Community, said.
“It’s a wonderful feeling, it really makes me feel that Canberra is a great city to live in and Australia is a true multicultural society, and everybody has a place here and contributes.”
The National Mosque Open Day (NMOD) is an annual Australia-wide event that features a number of mosques across the nation simultaneously opening their doors to the public and inviting them to come in and explore their local mosque.
Moreover, it endeavors to break down common misconceptions and stereotypes and counter all types of prejudice.
As part of an independent evaluation of the project, the University of New South Wales concluded that National Mosque Open Day was “globally ground-breaking” and the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
The event first took place in Australia, occurring on 25 October 2014, featuring nine participating mosques around Australia. National Mosque Open Day most recently took place on 27 October 2018, with 13 participating mosques.
Each night in Canberra, the mosque welcomes a diverse group of people to the evening prayer from the large Muslim population in Canberra’s north.
“Anybody is welcome. If you want to see what we do, you’re welcome to come and sit,” Bari said.
“If you have any questions, we’re most happy to answer these questions. Nothing to be fearful of here, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Muslims across the world usually open mosque doors to guests to enable them to have a glimpse of Islamic faith.
For example, Visit My Mosque Day is held annually in a number of countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, and France.
About 250 mosques participated in this year’s event held last February, seeing growth from 200 mosques in 2018 and 150 mosques in 2017.
Earlier in September 2019, Muslims in Peoria, Illinois opened their mosque doors for a special event dubbed “Lunch with Your Neighbors”.
A local mosque in Antioch, Nashville, Tennessee, also held an open house in July for people of all faiths to help combat Muslim stereotypes and show people the true Muslims
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