Yorkshire English Defence League, Scarborough Division had posted a message on its Facebook page calling for supporters to gather outside a nearby mosque. As it turned out only six people arrived to protest while more than a hundred supporters went to the Mosque to support the community after learning of the planned demonstration. The Imam and members of the community went out to greet the members of the English Defene League. They offered them tea and biscuits,talked to them invited them in to the Mosque and ended up playing football with them. I can imagine that the EDL went to the Mosque with hate in their heart but left warmed and changed by the hospitality shown to them. Father Tim Jones who went to the Bull Lane mosque, which is situated in his parish, is quoted in the BBC report: "I've always known they were intelligent and compassionate people and I think this has demonstrated the extent to which they are people of courage - certainly physical courage and also a high degree of moral courage. I don't think I'll ever forget the day that the York Mosque tackled anger and hatred with peace and warmth - and I won't forget the sight of a Muslim offering a protester tea and biscuits with absolute sincerity."
This simple act of hospitality transformed a situation. it was a act of courage but also one of genius. This is a great model for interfaith relations as well as relations between all sorts of other groups in our society. To reach out to one another, to offer hospitality not only to people but also to their beliefs and way of life could transform our understanding of those whom we consider to be different and reveal something of our common humanity. The mosque may be small and a bit ram-shackled but its heart is big and and its generosity an example to us all.