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Monday, 8 August 2011

Mosque Opens its Doors to English Defence League Members

The UKIM Islamic Centre and Khadijah Mosque (pictured) issued an invitation to local EDL members for a meeting to discuss the misconceptions about Islam.

 The EDL styles itself as being against Islamic extremism and Sharia Law, and the mosque's invite drew interest from national leader Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson.

 But a spokesman for the Islamic Centre Fiaz Kauser made it clear that the invitation was for EDL members local to Peterborough, rather than members of the national group.

 It follows information stalls the Islamic Centre put up in Peterborough city centre in recent weeks, which prompted debate between mosque members and members of the EDL who approached them, where the mosque sought to dispel some preconceptions people have about Islam.

 Fiaz Kauser, spokesman for the centre, : "We held the stall in Bridge Street at the weekend where we gave out information about Islam and the Qur'an on Saturday.

 "We have put up the stall across the region on a number of occasions to clear any misconceptions people have of Islam.

 "We also hope that people can challenge themselves to learn more.

 "We always have a lot of interest because of what is happening elsewhere in the world and reports people hear about what the Qur'an says."

 Mr Kauser said a member of the EDL actually stopped to talk with mosque members at the stall on Saturday.

 He said: "A member of the EDL approached us and it actually was a very positive incident.

 "He was asking questions and listening to the answers we were giving.

 "We had a similar incident in Wisbech previously, where a member of the EDL approached us to talk about Sharia law - he did not know what it was, but had a number of misconceptions.

 "We were able to explain what Sharia law was and answer all his questions.

 "When he left he actually apologised for some of his previous views.

 "He was more polite than some other people who approached us, who kept interrupting and not letting us finish.

 "Following the day we decided to invite EDL members in Peterborough to come to the mosque for a question and answer session and to learn more about Islam.

 "We would also like them to join us for a meal during Ramadan when we open our fast."

 The EDL held a large march in Peterborough on Saturday, 11 December last year, with more than 1,000 protesters in attendance.

 The protest group was set up two years ago by a group of football fans in Luton to oppose what they perceive as the rise of extreme Islam and Sharia Law.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency)