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Black Stone Books, Swansea

Type: Book Shop

Faith Group: Islam

Address:

12 St. Helen's Road,
Swansea.
SA1 4AW

Website: http://www.blackstonebooks.co.uk

Description:

Black Stone Books was opened on Eid-ul-Adha 1422 (February 2002). 'Black Stone' as it has come to be known locally, is next-door-but-one to the Central Mosque.

Background

Swansea has been in dire need of such a bookshop for many years. We have found from experience that despite a widespread lack of knowledge about Islam amongst the non-Muslim community, interest in gaining a better understanding of the Islamic way of life has been hampered by the lack of a permanent place where information can be sought. A mosque, although one might think the logical first place to visit, is in fact quite a forbidding and intimidating place to visit if a person has no idea what to expect, or how the people inside will receive them. A bookshop and resource centre which opens out onto a major road with lots of pedestrian, as well as vehicular traffic, is considered is must for any Muslim community in the UK which wishes to bridge the chasm of mistrust and misunderstanding which exists between them and their non-Muslim neighbours.

Concept and Function

The choice of name may seem strange, but it was chosen deliberately, and not because all the good ones had already been taken. The name (the English translation of the Arabic: 'Al-Hajar Al-Aswad') was selected because it identifies the building as Islamic for Muslims, and yet the name appears neutral to non-Muslims. This is not to deceive unwitting customers about to true nature of the shop which the window displays make all too clear. We simply did not want to taken on a name that marked out the store as 'Arabic' or 'Asian', which it is not. Neither did we want to include the word 'Islamic' in the title as this, unfortunately, can intimidate individuals from entering. The whole point of having a store, rather than simply selling products through mail order or on-line, is so individuals can actually come in and interact with a human being. Anything that acts as a barrier to people entering, actually defeats the whole object of cross-faith interaction.

Contact Tel: 01792 413222

Email: sales@blackstonebooks.co.uk

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