Inaugurated in 2014, National Mosque Open Day (NMOD) is an annual event facilitated by the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) which sees mosques around Australia open their doors simultaneously to all members of the community, regardless of their religious beliefs.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced NMOD into an online format for both 2020 and 2021 and it was a relief to see the 2022 renewal return to the masjids on Saturday 29 October.
Venues involved in this year’s NMOD included Lakemba Mosque, Cabramatta Mosque, Parramatta Mosque, Young Mosque, Omar ibn Khattab Mosque (Marion Mosque), Palmerston Islamic Centre, Riverdale Mosque and Masjid al Salam Logan City.
Australia’s most iconic masjid, the Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb Mosque (Lakemba Mosque) played host to huge crowds for LMOD and as always, the local community was out in force to support the event.
Features of the day at Lakemba included guided tours of the Mosque, Islamic exhibitions, Q & A sessions (which provided the expert panel of Imams the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions that visiting non-Muslims may have had about our religion) and a variety of family orientated activities.
The smiling faces on the countless number of children in attendance was a testament to the success of the Day.
Two of the many visitors to Lakemba Mosque took their Shahada – declaring that they believe (as all Muslims do) that there is only one God, Allah – and that the Prophet Muhammad (s) is his final Messenger.
The LMA/Lakemba Mosque’s relationship with our elected representatives has never been stronger, with a host of politicians from the three levels of government present on the day, including state and federal Ministers.
Visitors from the political sphere included Tony Burke MP (Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations), Mark Coure MP (NSW Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Seniors) and fellow NSW state members Jihad Dib MP and Sophie Cotsis MP, Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour, Deputy Mayor Bilal El-Hayek and other local Council members.
The LMA already has plans afoot to ensure that the tenth National Mosque Open Day in 2023 will be the best on record – which based on the success of this year’s offering, will be no mean feat.