As part of Canadian Interfaith Open House Weekend, a Pierrefonds mosque opened its doors to the general public on Sunday.
“It’s really just an opportunity to come in, have a good cup of tea, some hummus and some samosas and talk — just get to know one another,” said Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed, VP communications for Hilm, a community organization.
Makkah Al Mukkaramah was just one of 10 places of worship on the West Island that participated in the event, aimed at promoting diversity and encouraging dialogue.
READ MORE: Montreal-area mosques host open house day
“We’ve been encouraging our participants here to go to the synagogues and the churches, in and around the area that are participating in this open house event,” said mosque spokesperson, Faisal Naqvi. “We don’t want to just show and share what we do. We want our people to go and learn about other communities as well.”
Members of the mosque welcomed local residents, offered them refreshments, a tour of the building, and a chance to get to know their faith.
“It’s to demystify what people don’t know,” said Naqvi, “and if you can do that, you have a good chance at least of building bridges and tearing down the barriers that keep people separated.”
This is the second year in a row the Pierrefonds mosque held an open house. The first time was right after the Quebec City mosque shooting.
“In any society you’ll have those on the extreme right, those on the extreme left, and that’s human nature,” said Naqvi. “So as much as we can minimize the extremes, and have more people clumped together in the middle that know each other and respect each other and get along, the less chances there are that we have a repeat of that kind of incident.”