Abbotsford mosque gets online hate for exhibit on Jesus

Event meant to bring community together gets attacked teaching religous differences

One Abbotsford mosque is being harassed online for an upcoming exhibit on the Islamic understanding of Jesus Christ – at an event meant to strengthen the community in the name of diversity.

The Abbotsford Islamic Centre is hosting its fourth annual Open Mosque Day on Feb. 22. But something new was added this year, a commemorative showcase of the life and teachings of Jesus from an Islamic perspective, where he is considered an important prophet.

The amount of hateful backlash surprised many of the organizers, who have put on similar exhibitions in other churches before, according to Adnan Akiel, founder and president of Bridging Gaps Foundation.

“It’s been more than in the previous years, and it’s unusual in terms of the comments that we’ve received,” Akiel said. “There were some threatening ones.

“Most were just derogatory.”

A large portion of the online attacks appear to come from Christians taking offence to the belief in Jesus as a prophet in another religion, others are just xenophobic, some are a mix of both.

“Even though the Islamic belief in Jesus is not the same as that in Christianity, there are many similarities that provide a platform of unity,” Akiel said. “The Mosque only intends to share information and clear misconceptions while completely respecting the diversity of different belief systems within the community.

“We just wanted to… bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

He says Muslims treat all their prophets equally, there is no ranking by order of importance.

“As Muslims, we don’t differentiate between different prophets. You don’t say Mohammad is better, or Jesus is better or Moses is better. We treat them all with equally with respect… we have no intention to disrespect people of any other belief.”

The organizers have been also been criticized for having a section where guests can try on a hijab. Akiel said the section shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

“Whoever is interested can try on the hijab, take pictures, have a good time. And there’s a bit of backlash on that as well, but that’s not unusual.

“Most of the backlash we’ve received has been on [the Jesus] aspect of Open Mosque Day.”

Akiel does say the mosque has also received a lot of support alongside the negative reactions.

“I really want to make that point, that we genuinely appreciate and love the positive support.”

RELATED: Abbotsford Islamic Centre hosts Open Mosque Day

abbotsfordIslamophobia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thief steals bucket truck in Abbotsford while worker is 20 feet in air

Employee is able to jump to safety after suspect drives into pole

Abbotsford’s Cole Brandsma receives invite to Volleyball Canada virtual camp

UBC volleyball player one of 27 players in Canada invited to summer virtual camp

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board says sales double in June, buyers returning to market

Month’s property sales rebound 113% over May’s sales, 32% over June last year

Supreme Court orders new French-language school for Abbotsford, improved one for Chilliwack

A French-only elementary school must be built in Abbotsford, court ordered in landmark ruling

Man battling cancer paints thank-you rocks for Abbotsford health-care workers

Dale Leguerrier creates more than 200 rocks for hospital and hospice staff

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Investigation clears RCMP in incident where man fell from Langley overpass

‘Officers acted commendably and placed themselves at risk’ police watchdog report finds

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Rural Chilliwack residents asked to stay indoors, lock doors amid heavy police presence

Heavy police presence in rural Chilliwack neighbourhood as RCMP contend with ‘serious situation’

Councillor Doug Elford Surrey’s acting mayor during McCallum’s “health concern” absence

Mayor issued a statement Tuesday night saying he’ll be back on the job by Monday

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read