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Prayer Times

Norwich, UK
31st March, 2009

Monthly Times

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  • University Mosque
  • East Anglian Islamic Centre

Great Yarmouth

  • Masjid At-Tauwheed

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Islamic Information Centre (BBC Website)

Talib Fehlhaber, Muhammad Abu-Elmajd and Kaleem Ul
Talib Fehlhaber (left) with friends

Islamic bookshop and centre opens in city

By Lucy Clark
Norwich's first Islamic Bookshop And Information Centre has just opened its doors. It has been funded by the Norfolk And Norwich Muslim Association, and they're hoping it will be as useful to non-Muslims as it will be to those who practise the faith.

The sign which hangs above the door says bookshop, but Norwich's first Islamic Bookshop And Information Store is much more than that.

The Ber Street store stocks everything from copies of the Qur'an to prayer mats, clothing and even halal toothpaste and perfume.

Talib Fehlhaber is the secretary of the Norfolk And Norwich Muslim Association, and he’s also the brains behind the venture.

Open to everyone

"It’s going to work as a resource centre for Muslims and non-Muslims in Norwich and the surrounding areas," he said.

"It will provide support, help and advice for people who want to learn more about Islam."

Mansour Almazroui with Qur'an.
Former UEA Islamic Society president

He thinks there is a lot of curiosity around Muslims and the Islamic faith at the moment and he hopes he'll be able to answer people’s questions.

"Even before we opened, we had a stream of people coming in and enquiring, offering their help.

"Part of the reason we opened the shop was because of the cry for help, people asking is there anywhere we can go for help and information."

The Norfolk And Norwich Muslim Association has also had a number of requests for help from public organisations – the police, hospitals and even the prison service, to help them relate to the growing number of Muslims in the area.

Community relationships

Talib says the shop - and the organisation as a whole – has a very good relationship with the police.

While they aren't expecting to have any trouble, he says they can understand that people may be worried about what's going on in the shop.

"There's going to be a lot of suspicion," he said.

"One reason we opened the shop was to give a balanced view on Islam, and to give people the opportunity to find out what Islam really stands for and not how it's presented in the media.

"Of course, there will be questions but anybody can drop in and see, and ask those questions."

He says he’s aware that people might jump to conclusions and see the shop as a place for extremists to share their view.

"Of course, there is always the possibility, but as a community here we have managed to keep tabs on that one.

"We have a very good relationship with local police and local authorities. We've made sure by the way we've set ourselves up that it’s very, very unlikely," he said.

last updated: 01/12/06