Peterborough’s mosques joined together for a peace conference to confront what it believes is an unfair portrayal of Islam.
The inter-faith conference held last Saturday at the Faizan-e-Madinah Mosque in Gladstone Street was attended by over 160 people, including guest speaker Lord Nazir Ahmed, member of the House of Lords.
Other guests included police area commander for Peterborough Superintendent Melanie Dales, Bishop of Peterborough the Rt Revd Donald Allister, and the chief executive of Peterborough City Council, Gillian Beasley.
Abdul Choudhuri, chairman of the mosque where the event was held, said Islam’s message of peace was being distorted by a tiny majority.
He believes Lord Ahmed “spoke very well about the contribution Muslims have made in this country. In the First World War and Second World War Muslims sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the world.”
Mr Choudhuri said the mosque promotes “peace and harmony” throughout society, stating: “A lot of people are ignorant and do not know what goes on in mosques. There’s a total misconception.”
And he said there is a lot done in mosques to tackle extremism and sexual abuse through weekly seminars and by encouraging people to ask questions.
He added: “We should not be lenient with these people. Anyone who commits these kinds of crimes should be locked up and the key thrown away. Britain is one of the most tolerant countries and we should respect that.”