2019 Jan 28
Bringing together communities with open doors.
Although a tiny island located in the midst of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a nation filled with diverse religions and communities that often come together in times of celebration and distress. Initiatives like Mosque Tours practice this unity and help maintain peace in our society through education and bringing about open minds.Mosque tours have taken the country by storm, spreading like wildfire via programs held in Colombo, Kandy, Beruwala, Akurana, Gampola, Anuradhapura, and Pottuvil. This is due to the vast number of people that want to learn, interact with, and observe the Islamic culture, quenching their thirst for knowledge and curiosity. It is a new and unique interfaith initiative that allow people of other religions to experience the mosque environment and learn more about Islam firsthand. This project first began in 2014 as The Centre for Islamic Studies (CIS) launched its first program in the Wekanda Jumma Mosque Colombo, with its latest Open Mosque Day being held earlier this month on the 22nd of January, at the Kollupitiya Jumma Mosque in Colombo; consisting of around 800 participants! At the Kollupitiya Jumma Mosque, participants were given a tour around the mosque, free calligraphy of their names in Arabic script along with delicious traditional Muslim food. The objective of Mosque tours is to educate those of other religions of true Islamic teachings, in hopes of building good relations with other communities.
Sri Lanka has been no stranger to racial discrimination even with the end of the decade-long civil war that left the country shattered. It has not been long since the last racial uproar in Kandy as well. They say the first step to solving a problem is realizing you have one; Mosque tours being one step forward to a more peaceful and understanding nation.More Mosque tours are scheduled to be held in the southern parts of the country this year, such as Aluthgama, Weligama, and Galle; so if you’re curious about learning and experiencing new cultures and practices, keep your eyes open!