Feb 1 2015
Cathy Newman (photo right) was respectfully dressed for any civilized place of worship, but when she turned up for the British Muslim Council’s ‘Visit My Mosque’ day, was stunned to be ushered back into the street when she tried to enter a mosque in Streatham. In the wake of the terror attacks by Islamic gunmen in Paris last month, it was held to provide an insight into the running of Muslim centres of worship and to allow ‘unbelievers’ to ask questions about Islam. (Apparently, “Can I come in” wasn’t one of them)
UK Daily Mail The journalist detailed the incident on Twitter, writing: ‘Well I just visited Streatham mosque for #VisitMyMosque day and was surprised to find myself ushered out of the door. I was respectfully dressed, head covering and no shoes but a man ushered me back onto the street. I said I was there for #VisitMyMosque Day.
Esmat Jeraj, a managing trustee at the centre, claimed the problem was caused by Miss Newman turning up at a mosque which wasn’t taking part in the open day event. She told MailOnline: ‘She was always supposed to come to our centre. She had been sent to the wrong mosque.
‘When she arrived they weren’t expecting any guests. It wasn’t because she was a woman, but because they weren’t operating any open door policy that day. They weren’t expecting any visitors or holding any services either, I think.
‘Once she arrived at our centre we gave her a cup of tea and had a chat. We apologized for the incident and clarified that she should base that as an example of Islam.’
Visit My Mosque Day, organised by The Muslim Council of Britain, is a nationwide event, where a number of mosques across the country are opening their doors to the general public.