For The Record – Open mosques and open conversations

Aiya Benaso – February 20, 2019

Open Mosque Day included exhibitions like henna hand tattooing, hijaab try-outs and one-on-one question and answers and much more.
(Adnan Akiel)

For the first time over the Family Day long weekend, nine major mosques in B.C. opened their doors to everyone, in participation with Open Mosque Day.

Hosting these events are timely as certain incidences across Canada, like breaches of security in an Edmonton mosque, have raised hate crime concerns for the Muslim community.

We spoke with Adnan Akiel, project manager for Open Mosque BC, and he says the idea behind the initiative is to “bridge the gap” between Muslims and non-Muslims. We talk about the importance of B.C. to join in on the global movementthe stigma associated with Islam and Muslims, and their initiative driven to change that.

“We want to open up positive conversations in a setting that may have a lot of stigma around it, the mosque. And what better way to overcome that stigma by actually opening up our mosques to everyone.” – Adnan Akiel, project manager for Open Mosque BC