Food for thought: Mosque holds community meal to bury misconceptions

A key figure in the Wolverhampton Muslim community hopes sharing a community meal with people in the area has helped bury misconceptions about people of his faith.

The dinner, held at Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque on Willenhall Road, was organised by Toby Ephram.He is the regional president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Society, and reckons the slap-up buffet has helped build bridges between different cultures.He said: “It was a great turn out, I must thank god that people from all walks of life, employed, unemployed, black, white, old, young, religious, non-religious came along and enjoyed it.”The place was packed out.

“It is difficult because people have a lot of preconceptions about Muslim people. “Sometimes people think that if they go to a mosque they are going to be blown up because of terrorist attacks carried out by so called Muslims in the name of Islam.”Hopefully it has buried some misconceptions.”We feel that more needs to be done to bring the community together.”There were over 30 people, it gives me great pride to see everybody coming together like that.”
He added: “Not everyone has family or people who are there for them.”We wanted to reach out to those people and give them someone to spend time with and talk to.”Everybody should be able to have a nice meal at this time of year, so we put on a special buffet.”We had lots of different food available for everyone, chicken curry, rice – we tried to cater for everybody’s tastes.”People enjoyed it so much they were asking me if we could make it an annual event, so I think that will be our plan. It has been put in the calendar.

“We wanted to break down barriers and I think this has gone some way to helping do that.”I am so grateful that despite the fact it was wet, people we still able to come along.”It was a fantastic event, and the response from the public was overwhelming.”I am so appreciative of everybody who came and took part, and hope we can count on their support next time.”