'Talk to us' - open day at mosque

Otago Muslim Association chairman Mohammed Rizwan is helping to organise a public open day at Al Huda mosque in Dunedin on Sunday, to thank the community for its support. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Otago Muslim Association chairman Mohammed Rizwan is helping to organise a public open day at Al Huda mosque in Dunedin on Sunday, to thank the community for its support. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The large number of Dunedin residents asking to pray alongside the Muslim community at Al Huda mosque has prompted the Otago Muslim Association to hold an open day this Sunday.

Association chairman Mohammed Rizwan said the Clyde St mosque would be open to the public between 10am and 5pm.

''Heaps of people have been asking if they can come and visit the mosque and pray with us, and out of safety, we have been saying no to them.

''But now we have decided we should have a mosque open day, just to invite people to come and see what it is like inside and they can see us, they can talk to us, we can talk to them and we can have activities inside the mosque.''

He said the event aimed to show appreciation and acknowledge the great support being received from the wider community.

The event is just one of many organised in the community in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

The Department of Internal Affairs is running a National Memorial Day event in Christchurch on Friday, and the Dunedin City Council will be live-screening the event at the Dunedin Town Hall.

Council community development and events manager Joy Gunn said the live stream would begin at 10am, and would be preceded by speeches from community leaders at 9.30am.

''The town hall takes about 2000 people and we hope there will be a good turn-out.

''The live stream will also be available online from other sites, so people will be able to watch it at home, in workplaces and in schools as well.''

She said other elements may be added to the event.

Dr Rizwan was delighted to see support for the Muslim community was not waning.

He said it was possible groups of all nationalities, cultures and religions would get together to organise an event celebrating Dunedin's diversity, and ultimately creating unity.

For now, his focus was on supporting the healing process for those affected by the Christchurch terror attack.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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