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Digging deeper to learn more

Published: Thur, 5 Mar 2015
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Representatives from Barcroft and Carnagat Community Associations at the Islamic Centre in Belfast
Representatives from Barcroft and Carnagat Community Associations recently visited the Islamic Centre in Belfast
As part of the ‘Digging Deeper’ Project, representatives from Barcroft and Carnagat Community Associations recently visited the Islamic Centre in Belfast.
The two community associations recognise we’re living in an increasingly diverse society and this trip to the Islamic Centre supported by Community Restorative Justice which devised the project and the Housing Executive wanted to find out more about the changing landscape.
During the visit the group were welcomed by Sham Us Eldin who provided an interesting talk on Islam where he dispelled many of the myths which have grown up around the religion.  Sham has had the opportunity to study various religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam and provided a number of insightful answers to the questions posed by the group.
This innovative visit aimed to encourage tolerance between different ethnic cultures in today’s society.  Paula McGuigan from Carnagat Community Association was delighted that the group was able to visit the Islamic Centre saying:
“The groups were delighted to meet Sham and learn more about the religion he has adopted and the culture of Islam.  It is important as Northern Ireland’s demographic landscape changes we learn more about these changes so we can embrace it.  They found out 40 nationalities use the Islamic centre and estimates suggest there are over 10,000 Muslims living and working in Northern Ireland.”  
Eileen Grant from the Housing Executive in Newry who accompanied the group was impressed with the centre saying…
“This was a terrific opportunity to learn more about life as a Muslim living and working in Northern Ireland.  The response from the two groups following the visit was very positive and I look forward to seeing them dig deeper in the future.”