Have you ever wanted to know more about the Muslim faith but were too afraid to ask?
For many people in Tauranga, their first chance to meet a Muslim may have been during one of the memorial services following the terror attack shootings in Christchurch.
Now the Tauranga community is being offered the unique chance to attend the free Meet a Muslim event at the Greerton Community Hall on Saturday.
National Party leader and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges will attend the official opening, which begins at 10am, followed by three 30-minute seminars.
Mohamed Anas Raheem, who heads the Outreach Department of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand, is bringing the True Islam Roadshow and Qur'an Exhibition to the city for the first time.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community's motto is "Love for all Hatred for None".
Raheem said the roadshow includes three short seminars on the Qur'an and terrorism, and during the Q & A sessions people are free to ask anything about Islam.
"We want members of the public to come along to meet us and have a chat," he said.
The Meet a Muslim project was one of a number of outreach initiatives to help dispel misconceptions about Muslims and Islam which often stem from people's "fear of the unknown", Raheem said.
"This event is not about trying to convert anyone to become Muslim or force our views on anyone. It's about encouraging dialogue and giving people the chance to ask questions in a safe environment.
"It's also the chance to introduce people to our Pathway to Peace campaigns and a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people from all walks of life."
Raheem said the Meet a Muslim project was part of an initiative that he and Imam Mustenser Qamar started several years ago to foster better understanding.
Research showed that many people worldwide had never met a Muslim, he said.
"This means people's perceptions of Muslims and Islam are often shaped by what they have heard or seen in mainstream media reports," he said.
"We hope through initiatives like this we are able to build bridges of understanding and foster a much more harmonious and peaceful society.
"People soon get to realise that we are just normal human beings and proud New Zealanders who are contributing to the country and want to give back to our community,"