The local community group, Meet your Muslim neighbour, hosted a Tea & Tour of Eccles Mosque on Sunday 17th November as part of Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day.
The event was facilitated by the Eccles and Salford Islamic Society, and was hosted at Eccles mosque as a way of celebrating the diversity and inclusion present in Salford.
Inter Faith Week is a national celebration that took place between the 10th and 17th November this year, and Mitzvah Day is an annual celebration that took place on Sunday 17th November, celebrating faith-based social action amongst community groups.
People of any religion, faith or background took this as their chance to have a tour of the mosque and ask any questions they had regarding its workings, or about Islam in general.
Tahir Mahmood, co-founder of Meet your Muslim Neighbour, said: “We set up this event because many from the Muslim community want to see more interaction and openness [between communities] inside the mosque […] so they can actually have a better friendship and understanding of who their fellow Muslims are.
“At the same time, it’s important for the Muslim community within Salford and Eccles to get to know the wider community, to be able to engage better, to feel comfortable to talk about how they feel about things.”
Tahir added: “We need to try and make the mosque open to anybody who needs support.
“We want it to be a place for people to share their projects with each other, a place to network and for people to be happy.”
Maureen from Swinton attended the event and said: “Everyone was so friendly, the poems were beautiful and it was a privilege to be allowed to watch a prayer session […] I have never been in a mosque before and it was just lovely. I would love to be invited to the end of Ramadan feast that was mentioned today.”
Owen from Pendleton said: “It was great to chat with so many people, have cake, listen to talks, then watch prayers in this lovely mosque […] Congratulations to Tahir for organising the event – it is such a good thing when communities in Salford come together to share what is important in our cultures with each other with warmness and mutual respect.”
Tahir explained the importance of hosting an event like this, saying: “When we overdo events with preparation and big programmes, talks and lectures and all these things, what happens is the people themselves don’t get chance to talk, so we reduced any speeches to a minimum of five or ten minutes.
“What I wanted to do was have people become confident to talk to one another, whether that was any questions or just saying hello, and have them feel comfortable inside the mosque. It’s a very beautiful and spiritual social atmosphere and I wish more people could be part of that and enjoy it.”