Al Nusrat mosque in Montreal’s east end said it is starting a dialogue in wake of the Quebec City shooting.
Officials have opened up the doors to non-Muslims, inviting them to learn more about the faith.
“We want to explain to everybody that when you talk to a Muslim, that’s when you get to learn about a Muslim,” said Khalid Butt, a spokesperson for the mosque.
“Not from, perhaps, your small TV screen or from what you hear or read on social media.”
Dozens of mosques and prayer centres of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at community, which has locations across Canada, are inviting people of all religions to visit the mosques, ask questions and find out more about Islam.
The goal is to dispel stereotypes and open up the lines of communication.
“We always say Islam is about peace, so why do people associate violence with Islam?” said mosque president Faraz Ahmed.
” By bringing you and other people in here, we open up a channel to talk and we open ourselves up to questions.”
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The mosque’s imam said since the attack in Quebec City, they’ve had no choice but to increase security.
However, he insists Canada is still a safe haven for all Muslims.
“Members of the community, they’ve migrated from countries like Bangledesh, Pakistan, the Middle East,” said Luqman Ahmed.
“We also have Syrians here who were persecuted for their faith back home and in that sense, Canada is a safe home for them.”
Other mosques in Montreal say they’ll also welcome people to visit.
The Islamic Centre of Quebec will be holding opens houses at some of its mosques on Feb. 12.