RESIDENTS of all faiths and backgrounds were invited to discover more about the Islamic faith and the Muslim community in Basingstoke.

As part of Visit My Mosque Day the Albirr Foundation Mosque, in Sarum Hill, opened its doors to residents on Sunday, 11 February.

Visitors were given a guided tour of the mosque as well as being given the opportunity to speak to people who regularly attend the mosque to pray.

There was an exhibition giving visitors an insight into the history of the religion showing manuscripts and artefacts which showcase the background of the faith in the community.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s cabinet member for communities and community safety Cllr Simon Bound said: “Basingstoke is a fantastic culturally diverse borough, and this is a great opportunity to learn more about this faith and to meet new people.

“For those who have always been curious to ask questions about the religion then this is your chance.”

Among the guests in attendance, a greeted by the mosques Imam, Mohammed Achbib, were mayor and mayoress of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Paul Frankum and Cllr Jane Frankum, along with the town’s MP Maria Miller.

Visit My Mosque Day is now in its fourth year and organisers say it has proven to be a successful initiative, showing the work Islamic communities do in the areas they live in a variety of ways ranging from hosting blood donations banks to providing free meals to the homeless.