French mosques open doors to public to break down prejudices

French mosques open their doors to general public to eliminate prejudices against Islam after deadly Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People listen to the explanations of guide Mohamed Latahi (C), as they visit the Strasbourg Grand Mosque during an open day weekend for mosques in France, January 9, 2016.

Hundreds of French mosques are organizing large scaled open-house event at this weekend, hosting visitors for tea and a chat about Islam.

The event aims to break down prejudices against Islam one year after the deadly Charlie Hebdo and the Paris attacks last November.

The attacks have increased Islamaphobia in France and other European countries as well, especially under the potential DAESH threat.

For those people who are in the dark over what Islam really is, France's mosques are opening their doors to the public to disproof the argument against Muslims.

"To set straight the clichés about links to violence and terrorism," Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told AFP.

“The idea is to involve people in a dialogue, away from prejudices, fears and clichés, which unfortunately were brought out after the tragic attacks of January and November,” Kbibech said.

The organization, calling "a brotherly cup of tea",  is to take several forms with local mosques offering hot drinks, pastries, guided visits, making face-to-face workshops.

"The objective is to create a space where people can be together and meet normal Muslim worshippers and all of our fellow citizens," Kbibech said.

The people is also invited to participate in one of the five daily prayers.

The Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters in Paris was attacked on Jan. 7, 2015, when two masked gunmen stormed the office killing 12 people including a Muslim police officer because of publishing derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad by the magazine.

The deadly Paris attack killed at least 130 people in November 13 and DAESH claimed responsibility for the attacks.

TRTWorld and agencies