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(UK) Birmingham: IMAM calls for "autistic friendly spaces in Mosques"

July 15, 2023, International Quran News Agency: Autism Hour Introduced at Birmingham Central Mosque
The imam of the mosque revealed this, arguing this is due to hostile reactions kids get during standard mosque visits, where worshippers are not aware of their complex needs.

Wanting to fill the gap for neuro-diverse children who need a calmer atmosphere he introduced Autism Hour at Birmingham Central Mosque. The goal was to allow autistic children a space of calm with sensory activities and non-judgmental people.

Imam Mohammad Asad, 50, is the Lead Imam at Birmingham Central Mosque and argues more should be done to accommodate children with various needs. He calls for more autistic friendly spaces in Mosques, arguing some children have never stepped foot inside one their entire life.

Imam Mohammed said: "All sorts of children have different needs and the Muslim community needs to do more to accommodate them. This was the initiative to open Autism Hour and we were the first Mosque to do this….

Every three months the Mosque hosts Autism Hour, where families can bring neuro-diverse kids to enjoy sensory areas, arts and crafts, quiet time and work with volunteer teachers.

Each event has an Islamic theme such as Ramadan or Hajj. The sessions have been running since 2019 but very few people know they exist, and Imam Mohammed hopes other Mosques might also pick up the idea….

"These are not naughty children as there could be 100 reasons for their behaviour, it could be autism. We need to educate the community and other Mosques should look into it.

"Mosques need to create a safe space for autistic people. Most don't have one and I would like to campaign for that.

"I think it would be great if more Mosques did that otherwise autistic people will continue to feel excluded, a lot of Mosques don't have space."


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