For those of you who are not Methodist, the Methodist church encourages its followers to use their skills and power to help the; community, church and Jesus. I have always felt a little like the little drummer boy in the hymn I had nothing to bring so I bring the only gift I have and that is honestly.
I live in Reading which is a multi-cultural town and recently a mosque has been completed, ironically near the local giant Tesco. There is a wonderful vista: the giant Tesco sign and the shining gold dome of the mosque and I am sadden and intimidated by this alien building so alien to me and so alien to my faith.
It is not as if this Mosque is the only non-Christian religious building there has been a Buddhist temple for many year and even a Hindu temple (based in an old Methodist church oddly enough) and I am sure there are more but these have adopted are architectural norms, these other faith one can ignore but the Mosque is not in tradition of British architecture religious or otherwise.
I am shocked by my shock. I lived in Leicester for three years a city with more than one traditional designed mosque. Indeed Leicester had a variety of non-western designed buildings including a Jan (Hindu) temple which was clad in Jan deity’s in white marble and none of this bothered me even a little.
So I came to conclude that one’s homes town is different, one’s home is different. Here we become insensibly sensitive to the alien architectural styling of a Mosque and unfortunately equate this alien design with an alien faith. Well I have known Muslims and they are no different from us, good people, striving to be good. Yes they are not identical to us nor are there architecture but we cannot hold them at fault for having a different religious or architectural tradition.
So dear reader be not ashamed at being taken aback and even a little irritated, we are merely meek and weak people trying to make are way in a world where the new or the alien makes us uncomfortable but soon enough the alien become the common, given enough time a Mosque is no more noticeable then church.