“Why I think every Londoner should visit their local mosque”, Sian Elvin

A religion which teaches respect for parents and fulfilling the rights of one’s neighbours, a religion which teaches ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ and thus enshrines freedom of belief in its core, how can anyone say such a religion is at odds with Western culture?

Source: mylondon.news

Sian Elvin at Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's Bait-ul-Futuh Mosque in Morden

Sian Elvin at Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Bait-ul-Futuh Mosque in Morden

Islamophobia Awareness Month: ‘I visited a London mosque and hundreds of people abused me online’

This narrow mindedness and hate needs to stop, says social media editor Sian Elvin

As a journalist, being criticised for your work online is part and parcel of the job.

I’m not necessarily saying it’s always appropriate, but I do believe I should always be transparent and held accountable for my stories.

But the worst criticism I have ever received for an article in my career to date was over the summer, when I wrote an article about why I think every Londoner should visit their local mosque .

I was personally quite pleased with the piece – I had a really interesting time at the mosque, I learned a lot about a religion I previously had little knowledge of, and was treated with nothing but respect and kindness.

Inside Western Europe's largest mosque, the Baitul Futuh in Morden (Image: Baitul Futuh Mosque)

Inside Western Europe’s largest mosque, the Baitul Futuh in Morden (Image: Baitul Futuh Mosque)

And I wanted to share my experience with MyLondon readers. So I published the story in the afternoon and went home, thinking little more of it.

An hour later the messages started trickling in, and within two hours my Twitter feed was flooded with abuse.

“I’d sooner go to Wetherspoons.”

“Start by taking them down, brick by brick.”

“It should be, ‘Why every Londoner should run as fast as they can away from their local mosque’.”

Overnight I received hundreds of messages becoming increasingly more aggressive and abusive. All because I’d simply suggested people should open their eyes a bit and be accepting of a variety of different cultures in London.

It wasn’t personal towards me. It was Islamophobic and racist.

Continue reading at mylondon.news

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