‘Good to see such openness’ – Biggleswade Islamic community opens doors for day of dialogue, fun and food

Discover Islam volunteer team at the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre's exhibition on Saturday.

Discover Islam volunteer team at the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre's exhibition on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Biggleswade’s Islamic community opened their doors to people of all backgrounds during a day of dialogue, fun and food last Saturday.

Humayal Rahman, nine, with Amani Rahman, Maheena Rahman and Henna Rahman at the Biggleswade Islamic

Humayal Rahman, nine, with Amani Rahman, Maheena Rahman and Henna Rahman at the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre's Discover Islam exhibition on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

A bouncy castle, a free lunch and henna tattoos were among the attractions at the Discover Islam exhibition, held by the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre at the town’s Weatherley Centre.

Posters described Islamic views on topics ranging from marriage, human rights and the role of women in society to violence and war – and female visitors were invited to try on headscarves at a ‘see how you look in a hijab’ stall, run by Shanaz Bhatti.

Organiser Nadia Bhatti told the Comet they were delighted by the event’s success, with more than 300 people through the doors.

“It went better than expected,” she said. “The support everybody showed us was overwhelming.

Maryam Iddir, Rehana Aksui, Aysha Boshor, Rabia Syef from Rosebud Womens group at the Biggleswade Is

Maryam Iddir, Rehana Aksui, Aysha Boshor, Rabia Syef from Rosebud Womens group at the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre's Discover Islam exhibition on Saturday. - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“Our aim was to help people understand that their is more to Islam and Muslims than what is read in the newspapers or seen on the TV.

“The children really enjoyed the range of activities available from tombola to face painting to chocolate fountain.

Most Read

“The try a hijab stall was an immense success, with many ladies leaving the event with their hijab still on.

“The town councillors, mayor and MP Alistair Burt all showed immense support for the event and what we’re trying to achieve, and have extended their hands to help.

“I thank everybody who attended and all the volunteers for making the day a great success. We hope to see everybody at our next event.”

Those attending included North East Beds MP Alistair Burt, who said it was good to see people of different backgrounds coming together.

He told the Comet: “I am pleased to have attended the open day, and appreciated the warm welcome.

“I found it busy, with all sorts of people looking for information, friendship and contacts with the local community. There seemed to be a nice mixture of cultural and religious interest – and food!

“At a time when there is so much misinformation and apprehension surrounding the Muslim community in the UK, it was very good to see such openness from all quarters.

“Only the building and maintenance of relationships between those who live together as we do will ensure that those who want to divide people do not get a foothold.”

To find out more about the centre and its events, find Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre on Facebook.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter