The move to convert the mosque into a place for vaccination was a suggestion from those in charge of the Islamic Center “Abbas” in Birmingham, which is known to have a large proportion of the Muslim minority in it.
The mosque is currently moving on two fronts, the first is to increase the number of beneficiaries of the vaccine among the elderly, especially those who are not educated, and the second is to launch awareness campaigns to encourage vaccination to counter false news about vaccination, and to motivate Muslims and non-Muslims to benefit from the vaccine, especially since the largest number of deaths Because of Corona, the country is among minorities.
This campaign is led by Imam Nuro Muhammad, who is one of the well-known Muslim faces in Medina and influential voices, who are respected not only among Muslims but among leaders of other religions, and the imam launched his campaign with a photo of him receiving the vaccine, accompanied by the phrase “Praise be to God, I received the vaccine.”
The mosque in Birmingham has turned into a destination for a number of government officials, to praise the efforts made by those in charge of this Islamic center and to encourage other places of worship to play the same role.
Imam Nuro Muhammad justifies his decision to receive the Corona vaccine, by wanting to send a strong message to “our Muslim brothers in Britain, that we are taking this initiative to say no to false news and rumors and to say yes to the vaccine.”
The imam bases his speech on Islamic teachings, stressing that “Islam commands us to receive the vaccine, because health and preservation of life are among the highest goals of this religion.”
Many imams are racing against time to stimulate the receipt of the vaccine, especially among elderly Muslims, as well as minorities of color, because they were the most affected by the epidemic in terms of the number of infections as well as the number of deaths.
Imam Muhammad fears, along with hundreds of imams in the United Kingdom, that elderly Muslims will be late in receiving the vaccine, either for fear or lack of knowledge of the details of the vaccination process taking place in the country, and for this reason the imams of mosques in Britain decided to devote the Friday sermon to one topic, which is the importance of the vaccine .
And those in charge of the mosque work in coordination with a body of doctors and nurses, like a beehive that does not stop, to secure the vaccination of thousands of people, whether Muslims or non-Muslims.
Inside the mosque, it consists of two spacious spaces, one next to the other and capable of accommodating 500 people, and the first is designated to receive people and collect their data and also to wait, and the second is dedicated to the vaccination process and to take a rest after taking the dose, especially for the elderly.
Those in charge of the operation are reluctant to reveal the numbers of people who have been vaccinated inside the mosque, given the confidentiality of information according to a prior agreement with government agencies, but they express their satisfaction with the level of response of the residents of the region to the initiative, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims.
The need for more
With great pride, Dr. Mortada Master – who is the owner of a medical center in Birmingham – speaks about the development of the vaccination process, especially since he contacted the National Health Authority in Britain to suggest that they convert the mosque into a center for vaccination with the Corona vaccine.
In his interview with Al-Jazeera Net, he asserts that opening the mosque for vaccination made many more comfortable and gave them confidence, “because the mosque is a sacred place for them and they will not mind receiving the vaccine inside.”
Nevertheless, Master admits, there is still some “resistance” on the part of some to receive the vaccine “due to the fake news and the many rumors circulating, but we are doing everything we can to convince them that there is no other way out than the vaccine.”
Attention is drawn to a problem that many elderly Muslims suffer from, which is the inability to deal with the system established by the government to obtain the vaccine, which is based on the person concerned receiving a letter at his home, then he books an appointment via the Internet, “but the problem is the presence of a number A large number of people are not educated or do not know how to deal with computers and smartphones, and thus their chances of getting the vaccine are lost.
This dilemma, which haunts the contributors to the vaccination campaign, can be solved according to the speaker himself, through “a decentralized system that allows anyone over the age of seventy to receive a vaccine in the center near him without taking any appointment,” indicating that they suggested to the health authorities, to allow They have the right to freely vaccinate 1,000 people daily, so “anyone who comes to the mosque when he is old gets vaccinated even if he does not get an appointment in advance.”
What worries Muslim doctors is that the elderly from minorities have been targeted with many rumors, to discourage them from receiving the vaccine. “That is why we asked the government to make a greater communication effort and take into account the diversity of the interlocutors,” says Master.
The mosque succeeded in drawing the attention of the British government, which praised its work in an official seminar chaired by Minister of the Interior Priti Patel, and for what it considered the pivotal role of places of worship and religious leaders in encouraging access to the vaccine.
For his part, Minister of Social Affairs Robert Genrick visited the mosque, during which he expressed his admiration that the mosque opens its door to everyone without exception, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, which is considered an honorable example of diversity and tolerance in British society.