South East Wales

Cardiff mosque opened to non-Muslims to improve relations

Ali Amir
Image caption Dental student and self-taught calligrapher Ali Amir shows visitors to the mosque how to write their name in Arabic

A Cardiff mosque has been opened up to non-Muslims in a bid to improve community relations.

A series of open days are being held at Dar Ul-Isra, in Cathays, with workshops and an Islam exhibition.

Mo Alamgir Ahmed, from the mosque, said: "The first part of our religion is to engage with the wider community, Muslim and non-Muslim."

Mr Ahmed said the idea was to help counter negative stereotypes, such as terrorism and Muslims going to Syria.

"There's been no particular backlash in Cardiff, but there was a spate of Islamophobic attacks - not physical but spitting and slurs," he added.

Image caption Fadhila Ali showed visitors to the mosque how to wear different styles of hijab, or head scarf
Image caption Azim Ahmed spoke to children from Hawthorn Primary School about Hajj, the holy pilgrimage
Image caption Kiera, Seren and Matisse were keen to try on the Ihram, the dress pilgrims wear
Image caption Year 7 girls from Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern did a workshop to learn how to write in Arabic
Image caption Hassan Abdurrahim spoke to visitors about the Koran
Image caption Aseel Sulaiman, who recently converted to Islam, said: "We are very good at charity, but we do it quietly"
Image caption Mo Alamgir Ahmed, the mosque's head of outreach, said the building used to be a church hall until it was bought by Muslims in 1981

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