Local paper, Luton on Sunday, covered the opening last week of the 'Discover Islam Public Information Centre'.
The Centre, based in Luton, is "a community project which aims to provide a neutral environment for people to ask questions about Islam or Muslims that they would feel too embarrassed or intimidated to talk about otherwise."
The Centre’s launch was marred by protests by the EDL spearheaded by leader and Luton resident, Stephen Lennon.
From the local paper:
"Discover Islam representative, Sufian Sadiq said: "Outside is an act of intimidation.
"I actually wanted to sit down and have a cup of tea with them [EDL], but they refused.
"I think the only problem is they haven't had the opportunity to mix in with people like ourselves.
“Speaking about the centre, he said: "We conducted a survey and asked over 500 people, who are predominately non-Muslim, about their views on co-existing.
"The responses included, 'I don't know enough about Islam . . . I don't know enough about religious practices . . . and I feel scared going into Bury Park and intimidated going into a Mosque'.
"We need to sit down as a community and combat this.
"We will come out and show that Islam is not intimidating."
"Luton council leader, Hazel Simmons attended the launch to show her support for the centre.
"She said: "A few weeks ago we had another challenge to Luton in the form of two television programmes.
"They gave an image that doesn't represent us or the town that we live in or work in.
"Unfortunately that is the message that has gone out nationally and we've got to fight back against it.
"This is a groundbreaking initiative and a great opportunity for the town.
"We know in Luton that we have many challenges.
"We never shy away from them and we know they are there."
"A spokesman for Luton in Harmony said: "From what I've heard today, this centre is something the town needs, and something the non-Muslim community have said that they wanted.
"This is a lovely example of the Muslim community engaging, because they recognise they need to come out and dispel the myths and propaganda coming from people who don't know anything about what Muslims are really about."
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