Open day at Nottingham mosque hopes to tackle fear of Muslims after recent events in the media

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community who share the message, ‘Love for all, hatred for none’, welcomed visitors to the Baitul Hafeez Mosque, in Sneinton, on Sunday, March 3.

Dr Irfan Malik, vice-president of the Nottingham chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslims, said that after recent events exposed in the media, it was important to engage with the community.

He added: “Today is all about showing the local community what we do, how we pray, and the events that we are working on.

“It’s so important to be well integrated in our community especially with everything in the media recently.

“I think people can feel very anxious about Muslims and mosques.

“But we welcome people of all faiths or no faith to come and ask questions and look around.”

Dr Malik, who practises as a GP at Sherwood Health Centre, added: “Muslims have a strong shared history with the British, although it is not very well known.

“It is our belief, that we must have a loyalty to where you live and we are encouraged to help Britain in any way we can.

“It’s good to get people together face to face rather than through phone conversations or email.

“It’s more memorable and reduces the fear – there is a lot of hate around at the moment that we need to counteract.”

Visitors could explore the prayer area, the ladies section and an exhibition of the work being done in the community.

The exhibition included stands from the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, the Royal Air Force, Nottinghamshire Police and Tell MAMA – an organisation that works in countering anti-Muslim hate.

Dr Malik also explained that the mosque was regularly visited by schools.

“We just love having people here,” he added.

Naveed Butt of Bulwell is the community spokesperson in the ladies group and was on hand to explain how the women at the mosque are involved.