MORE than 400 people visited the Shah Jahan Mosque on an open day intended to encourage a greater sense of community in Woking.
The initiative was part of the annual ‘visit my mosque day’ on 5 February, involving more than 80 places of worship around the country.
The Mayor of Woking Anne Murray and her consort Michael Smith led an initial group at 12pm and there was a steady stream of visitors until well after the official 3pm closing time.
“It was very successful and the turnout was a lot better than last year,” said mosque manager Muhammad Habib.
“We had really positive feedback. It was all towards building better understanding and countering negative things that are said in the media.”
Posters explained common misunderstandings such as the term ‘jihad’, which means ‘struggle’ and not ‘holy war’ and can be the inner fight someone has against evil within themselves.
Another poster said that, according to the Koran, God has created all humankind equal and given each the right to pursue his or her own destiny.
“Racism, sexism and prejudice of any sort are unacceptable in Islam,” it stated.
Mr Habib said the event encouraged the mosque to hold similar initiatives more regularly and also pointed out that visitors were always welcome.
“We regularly host individuals and schools and colleges. If anyone wants to visit – regardless of faith or background –they should just call or email the mosque.” he added.