The US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis B. Susman visited the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre today, as part of President Obama’s outreach programme to Muslim communities.

The ambassador was given a tour of the Mosque and Centre. The ambassador mentioned “the great admiration” he had for the mosque and was “looking forward” to a dialogue. He also made it clear that President Obama wants “to reach out to Muslim communities.”

The ambassador met with young people from the community, to have a frank and open discussion on their perceptions of the United States. They raised some interesting and challenging questions to the ambassador, which he answered in a candid manner. He invited them to enrol for the US embassy’s cultural and interfaith programme that co-ordinates trips for young leaders to the United States, which can help resolve misconceptions about the country. The ambassador mentioned that since “9/11 a lot has changed and there is a tremendous amount of interfaith work done by the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities.”

The ambassador later met with members of the mosque’s management committee, who were interested in his work in the UK and how he could engage more with the Muslim community in the future. He left the visit saying, “I go away from each of these meetings of dialogue, learning something new every time.”