A HARTLEPOOL mosque will open its doors to the county this weekend as part of efforts to give an insight into Islam.
The town’s Nasir Mosque, in Brougham Terrace is inviting people to look around the building on Saturday and chat to local Muslim leaders to promote better understanding of the religion.
Give people an opportunity to hear about the true teachings of IslamImam Tahir Selby
It is the first open day the mosque has held for several years and organisers hope it will be the first of many to come.
Imam Tahir Selby said: “The purpose of the day is to allow people to see inside a mosque, have a chat and remove any fears or misunderstandings about Islam they may have.
“It is also a good chance for us to meet our neighbours in the area.”
Tahir said he also hopes the day will dispel any fears people have around the image of Islam following recent terror attacks like the Charlie Hebdo magazine murders in Paris and terror network Isis.
“The open day is not in response to that but it is always a concern. It will give people an opportunity to hear about the true teachings of Islam and see it is not terrorism and how it promotes peace and understanding.
“Many people, when we do chat to them, understand that is not religion but fanatics, but it is always good to reassure people, so one of our objectives will be to remove any misunderstanding people may have.”
The day will include exhibitions, talks about Islam and refreshments.
The mosque held a similar event in 2009 which was a big success and Tahir hopes this Saturday will be well supported.
The Mayor of Hartlepool Stephen Akers-Belcher is due to pay a visit.
Tahir added: “We hope many more people will also come. Depending on how it goes we are planning to hold them more frequently, at least once a year.”
The Nasir Mosque was the first purpose-built mosque in Hartlepool and opened in 2005.
It was built by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Tahir added the mosque works closely with the local community and other faiths including the nearby St Oswald’s Church, also on Brougham Terrace.
Saturday’s open day runs from 10am to 5pm and everyone is welcome.