Festival brings faiths closer together

Organisers of a festival celebrating Islam in Sheffield built bridges of understanding about their faith with discussions, theatre and poetry. The event at Mount Pleasant Park, Sharrow, gave people an insight into contemporary Muslim life with a chance to discuss spiritual issues, culture and religion. Talks included a focus on what Islam teaches about jihad, meaning _to struggle’ in Arabic and not _holy war’, and the faith’s stance on terrorism, with questions and answer sessions. For those interested how the religion is practised there was a chance earlier in the week to discover what the Friday prayer is about, what is preached and there was a chance to listen to a sermon at the newly-built Madina Masjid. Other issues discussed at the festival were around Islamic finance and an explanation about why Islam forbids interest, and what the alternatives are when dealing with money.

Community centre and mosque plan for hotel site

A landmark hotel in Nelson could be given a fresh lease of life as a Muslim community centre under part of plans for a new mosque in the town. The former Groves Hotel, off Manchester Road, has been earmarked by the UKIM Madina Masjid, currently based in Forest Street, as a potential new home. Blueprints for an _850,000 project of the community centre and new mosque have been submitted to Pendle council’s planning department. The Forest Street mosque started life in 1974 as a single shop, which was later expanded with the purchase of two adjacent properties. But the local community has outgrown the current premises, which is incorrectly orientated with Mecca for prayer and also suffers from limited car parking. A spokesman for the project said: “Madina Masjid had been searching for a new site for a number of years and had considered a variety of potential sites. “Firstly the location and secondly, size were the main determinants in the selection of the Spring Bank Cottage (the former Groves Hotel).”http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=88F82ADB58CCE46173D18278&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News