The open day was part of the 2014 National Day of Unity, which also incorporated pro-refugee marches held across numerous cities.
The Lebanese Muslim Association has organised the National Mosque Open Day, where some mosques in each state gave guided tours, held exhibitions and Q&A sessions.
Sydney association member Jamal Rifi said, “The Lebanese Muslim community wants to send a statement that we … have opened our mosques and our hearts to the wider community”.
Dr Rifi said planning had begun months ago and while this week’s attack in Canada and the violent death last month of radical Melbourne teen Numan Haider had put yet more pressure on the wider Muslim community, the open day would provide an important and timely opportunity to bridge gaps. “We are a community which has been under a lot of pressure lately and society is at risk of the fracture line widening; we want this event to form a bridge between components of our society,” he said.
The Lebanese Muslim Association president Samier Dandan said the open day will help in “breaking down the misconceptions and negative perceptions” surrounding Islam in Australia.
Visitors were be able to witness traditional prayer rituals throughout the day and at some sites Mosque Leaders were present to help answer any questions non-Muslims had regarding the Islamic faith.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the National Day of Unity creates a significant opportunity to “build an even more inclusive and cohesive Australia”.
“My hope is that it will bring Australians together to learn more about different faiths and traditions, and to focus on our shared values,” he said.
Source:Business Insider Australia