FOR some, the Islamic faith can be something of a mystery. Many people do not not much about it.

To some, the faith can appear detached from the community but leaders stress this couldn’t be further from the truth.

An open day at Carlisle’s mosque offered people the chance to ask questions and experience Islam like they had not done before.

One city family decided to head to the mosque and find out what it was like inside.

Liz Stanwell, 39, from Upperby, had never stepped foot inside a mosque before. She said: “I saw the post online and thought it looked interesting, we could bring the children to see what happens here and learn about Islam.”

Learning something new, was part of the attraction for Mrs Stanwell, and she added: “It’s been good, it can break down barriers and we get to know each other better.

“It can be a bit different in our community and Islam is not something I know a lot about.

“It’s been really interesting and very welcoming and we would love to come again.”

Her husband Brendan, 39, wants his family to grow up with the understanding that there are many different people in the world but inside everyone is the same.

“The kids have done a lot of religious studies at school, but outside of school it’s different and you have to reinforce it,” he said.

“I was very fortunate to grow up and had first hand experience of different religions and cultures.

“I think it really important to have these experiences otherwise you would just get stuck in one frame of mind rather than seeing that people have different opinions and they’re just as valid as your own.”

He continued: “If people get stuck with the thought of the ‘other’ it becomes fear of the unknown and deep down we’re all the same.”

The couple’s children Nina, 11, and James, eight, were both thrilled about the day and said they would come back.

The pair enjoyed the activities on offer at the open day and Nina had a henna tattoo and some Arabic writing to take home.