Cardiff has a strong tradition of working with the local Muslim communities.
The Muslim Council of Wales has worked with the School of Lifelong Learning in developing adult classes on Islam. Topics over the years have included the Qur’an and Hadith (traditions), Women in Islam and Classical Arabic, to help with the study of Qur’an.
Although open to Muslim and non-Muslim alike, there has been a particularly strong participation from the local Muslim communities. Akmal Hanuk of the Muslim Council of Wales (right) said: "The take-up has been good because of the communication between ourselves and the University. People are very eager to join these courses and as a result go on to a Masters degree or Diploma."
With the arrival of the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, the Council is hoping things can go a step further. Secretary-general Saleem Kidwai OBE said: "We want local people from Wales to make use of the centre, to take courses and develop their knowledge of Islam."
The Centre is also playing an important role as a hub for activities which can bring people together. In the spring, it has hosted a series of keynote lectures as part of the MA course which was also open to the public. Topics included; Islamophobia, The Implications of the UK bombings ("7/7") for Muslims in Britain, and Representations of Muslims in British Literature.
Mr Kidwai believes the lectures have been useful for bringing together members of Cardiff’s various mosques and people with other beliefs. He said: "If the lectures had been held in one of the mosques, people might have been put off, particularly non-Muslims. The Centre provides common ground for people of all backgrounds."
Left: Cardiff's Yemeni community is one of the oldest established in the UK