By Casey Neill
A Dandenong mosque welcomed people of all faiths to connect over a sausage sizzle.
The Emir Sultan Mosque on Cleeland Street took part in the Islamic Council of Victoria’s state-wide Mosque Open Day on Sunday 7 May.
The idea was to provide a better understanding of the Muslim faith and build friendships.
Aysenur Ljatif from the Emir Sultan Mosque’s youth committee said it was the second time her mosque had officially opened its doors and hearts to the community “to encourage social harmony and ultimately build bridges”.
“The response from the local community was fantastic,” she said.
“We had people visit who said they drive past the mosque all the time and always wondered what it looked like on the inside but they assumed they could not come in.”
Ms Ljatif said the mosque wanted to break stereotypes “and show the wider community that they can come visit the mosque and ask us questions whenever they want to”.
“Amazing discussions about faith, spirituality, history and Islamic architecture due to the structure of the mosque over a sausage sizzle and desserts made by our mums made for a successful event,” she said.
ICV president Br Mohamed Mohideen said the day was about healing.
“Australia’s Muslim community is very hospitable and friendly but with all the negative news surrounding us – a little disheartened,” he said.
“It was a great opportunity for Muslims to heal and reach out and make some friends out of people we wouldn’t normally see in our space.
“We opened our doors and hearts and they graciously opened their minds and came in.”