Muslims in Britain and Canada Work on Public Image
In recent weeks, reports have identified a member of ISIS who was educated in Britain as “Jihadi Johnny.” Also, A mall in Canada has allegedly been targeted for an attack by an Islamic militant. Such news has increased the difficulties of being a Muslim in these countries.
Media reports state that these and other issues have played a role in British and Canadian Muslims working to burnish their image through community outreach efforts. In the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta, a mosque held an open house in the hopes of showcasing its faith to the general public. Mosque leadership wanted to show Muslim dedication to peace and commitment to non-violence.
The mosque even sent invitations to nearby residents. Muslims throughout Canada are also joining a campaign where they open their homes to show people that their values are not in opposition to the values of their fellow Canadians.
In Britain, where there are more than 2.5 million of the Islamic faith, there is a concern regarding reports that link the Islamic states with British-educated Muslims. However, while the perception of Muslims living in Britain is a concern, there’s now an interfaith center created by British Muslims.
They’ve turned what was once an abandoned Anglican church not into a Muslim mosque, but a community haven for everyone, regardless of their faith. In order to complete the renovation of the building, a former leader of a local council of mosques directed an interfaith group to complete the task. The name of the center is All Souls, which is meant to welcome everyone, and not just Muslims.
Despite being an interfaith community center created by a team led by a Muslim, All Souls is still a dedicated Christian church. As such, it will host Christian services once a month. Locals praise the Muslim-led project not only for being inclusive, but for saving a structure that could justifiably have been demolished.