Open Mosque Day takes place this Saturday across B.C.
Greater Victoria residents looking to explore new cultures and places within the city are invited to the Masjid Al Imam Mosque (2218 Quadra St.).
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., the mosque will open its doors to the public as part of Open Mosque Day. The event is held in conjunction with the B.C. Muslim Association, and mosques across B.C. will be participating. The event is billed as an opportunity to learn about Islam, the mosque, and build community.
“We have done open mosques here in Victoria many times and every time we’ve done it, we’ve gotten overwhelming response,” said Muhammad Ghouri, Masjid Al Imam social director. “We were planning to do it anyways and then we got word that they’re doing it province-wide.”
Volunteers will provide visitors with a tour of the mosque and teach them about various themes in Islam. In addition to learning about the mosque, there will also be henna tattooing and the opportunity to try on a hijab.
Provincially, the events are billed as a way to combat stigma and confusion around Islam and Muslims. In Victoria, Ghouri said the event is part of an ongoing effort to try and benefit the community.
He expects 1,000 people to come through the doors Saturday.
The mosque has been successful in raising awareness for the event on social media — with help from other religious centres and community groups in the city — but not all the feedback has been positive.
“We have been advertising this on our Facebook page and there were some people who have sent some messages that were disturbing,” Ghouri said. “But overall in Victoria, it’s not that bad. I’m not that worried.”
Snacks and refreshments will be provided and no registration is needed.