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Muslim converts face discrimination says new report

The report studied the challenges and concerns facing Islamic converts in the UK today Credit: PA Images

People who convert to Islam face being shunned by family and friends, and even targeted by the security services, according to a new report from Cambridge University.

Academics from the university's Centre of Islamic Studies found that many Muslim converts also suffered physical and mental abuse.

The study by the Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies examined nearly 50 Muslim converts of all ages, ethnicities, faiths and social backgrounds.

"I always joke with people that it's a bit like 'coming out' and I've discovered a lot of people who concealed this until the later stages.

I was exposed as a Muslim to friends and family inadvertently and my parents took it hard. They never came to my wedding.

I was also subject to some ridicule at work, which I now look back on as completely unacceptable in the modern world."

– Adrian (Jamal) Heath, Participant

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New lead Chaplain joins Southend Hospital

Reverend David Childs is the new lead chaplain at Southend Hospital Credit: Southend Hospital.

Southend Hospital has welcomed the arrival of a new lead chaplain, Reverend David Childs who was a former parish priest in Essex and Oxfordshire.

He will help deliver a 24-hour on-call service to make sure someone is available day and night.

“I may be the lead chaplain or the face of chaplaincy but there’s a really good team of people around me. It’s a privilege to be in a role where I meet people of every possible outlook, background. You realise ‘wow’ humanity is exciting. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the staff. "

– David Childs

Muslims in Luton will hand out roses to promote peace

Roses ready to be handed out Credit: Dawood Masood

Muslims will hand out roses in the centre of Luton today to promote love and peace. The organisers say it's about spreading the true message of Islam.

They'll be in St George's Square from 11:30am until 2pm.

"The objective of this unique event will be to engage with the local community of Luton by promoting dialogue, spreading peace and mutual understanding.

We are aware that the Muslim community in general gets a lot of negative coverage from the media, therefore, we hope by giving out roses and cards that highlight the Prophet's message of mercy for all, we can change people's views about the Muslim community and Islam on a local level."

– Event organisers

Mosques across the East open their doors in bid to teach people about Islam

Prayers at Peterborough Mosque this afternoon. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mosques around the region have opened their doors to the public as part of a national initiative to encourage people to find out more about Islam.

Peterborough Mosque is among those taking part.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce misunderstandings about Islam. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The hope is that the scheme will help reduce misunderstandings about the religion.

Visitors will be able to witness evening prayers later and get an insight into what goes on there.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Olivia Kinsley

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Ancient copy of Qu'ran donated to Muslim group

Credit: ITV News Anglia

A Muslim group in Norwich has been given a copy of the Qu'ran which survived the First World War 100 years ago.

The two books were rescued by a British soldier commanding the Sikh Battalion in what is now, Pakistan and brought back to Norfolk.

His daughter donated them to the group who will use the books to teach young muslims about religious tolerance.

"it's amazing that someone from another religion kept hold of it for 100 years. It's a real lesson for us to take from them to respect one another and repect our differences and our faith. But most of all respect our humanity. We are all one"

– Masoud Gadir, Norwich & Norfolk Muslim Association

Hertfordshire police recruiting more chaplains

Hertfordshire police wants to recruit more chaplains Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hertfordshire Police says it needs more chaplains.

It's now recruiting the volunteers who can be from any faith, to visit police stations and provide support to staff.

"Being a chaplain is a very privileged position and it is an honour to work among such fine people. I became a chaplain as I wanted to support and help the officers and staff who seek to keep us all safe."

– Chaplain Louis Spring, Lead Chaplain

Chaplains work closely with police officers and staff and are expected to conduct at least two visits to police stations each month.

This allows them to provide support and pastoral care to everyone in the force, regardless of their beliefs or faith.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the role and applying for the positions should contact Penny Brown on 01707 354 427.

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