Worksop Islamic Society have revealed plans to “promote interracial harmony” in the town by opening a Muslim prayer and community centre.
The society, also a registered charity, have earmarked former office buildings on Watson Road for the new centre’s location after purchasing them from Nottinghamshire County Council.
The centre could be “up and running” in less than six months and will provide a place for Worksop’s muslim community to pray and socialise.
Dr Najam Saqid, Worksop Islamic Society Trust chairman said: “Many of our founding trustees work or have worked at Bassetlaw Hospital, and the staff there kindly allow Muslim doctors and nurses to pray in the hospital chapel.
“It caught on that prayer sessions were being held there and we had more and more members of Worksop’s muslim community attending- when it became overcrowded we came up with the idea of launching a centre.
“It will provide not only a place for the town’s Muslim population to pray, but also engage in other activities such as meeting there for Ramadan which is a very social time of year for us.
“But we’d like to make it clear that we are keen to work with the community as a whole.
“The centre is not just for Muslims, but for everyone regardless of religion.
“ All will be welcome as our aim is to promote interracial harmony and understanding within the town.”
Dr Saqid added the society had been welcomed to the area by members of Christian churches in Worksop, such as The Crossing, Poplar’s Church and the Priory Church.
“The response we’ve had from churches across the town has been really positive- we’re glad to have their support,” he said.
Asked whether he thought there would be any negative responses to news of the centre’s opening, WIST secretary Shafqat Sharan said: “We are peaceful and loving people and are not here to cause any trouble. We condemn any attacks on innocent people that have occurred around the world. The society is simply opening a community centre in which we can pray and teach our children, and we hope all members of the community will work with us and visit us.”
More information is available at http://wist.org.uk.