Bradford’s ‘model mosque’ is to open its doors to the public on Monday as part of the Connecting Cultures 2008 initiative.

After being crowned as Britain’s Best Mosque last year, the Madni Jamia Masjid, in Thornbury, has been selected to host the Our City Our Faith exhibition.

Taking place on Monday and Tuesday, the exhibition will encourage people of all faiths to come and celebrate local heritage.

Described as a “young person led project”, the exhibition will celebrate Bradford’s religious diversity, with a focus on youth.

One of the organisers of the event, Abida Rafiqu, said how the event will give people first-hand experience and understanding of Islam.

She said: “Schools of all faiths from across the district will be involved. Some schools from as far as York and Barnsley will be joining us.”

Face painting, henna tattoos and calligraphy displays will all encourage families and children to go along and involve the young.

Abida said: “We want to encourage community cohesion and we feel that the way to do this is to focus on the children – the next generation.”

A number of talks about the past, present and future of Islam will also accompany the exhibition on Tuesday at 6pm.

Talks by the Dean of Bradford Cathedral, the Very Reverend David Ison, and Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa will embrace the past and present of Islam, including a speech called Life as a Muslim.

The chief executive of Bradford Council Tony Reeves will then conclude the event with a speech on the future plans and progress for faith communities in Bradford.

Organisers are hoping that the event will help to bring different faiths together.

Abida said: “We hope the diverse communities of Bradford will come out in sheer curiosity at the prospect of viewing the impressive Masjid surroundings.”

For more information on the event call (01274) 667986 or e-mail