Muslim students in Hendon attempted to break down community barriers and fight religious stereotypes when they took part in a multi-faith education experience this morning.

Girls from the Ayesha Community School, in Montagu Road, met with speakers from the Three Faiths Forum on the religious charity’s 15th birthday.

The volunteer organisation looks to build relationships between Muslims, Jews and Christians in communities through education and engagement programmes.

One student, Mariam Rafa, 16, believes learning about other cultures in the borough has helped her come to terms with some of the prejudices and stereotyping she faces as a Muslim day-to-day.

She said: “I have been called a terrorist in the past and sometimes people assume that, because you are wearing a hijab, you are oppressed, but that is not the case.

“Our religion doesn’t define us but it shows your character and that you stand for certain morals. It is reassuring to hear other religions are the same and other people face similar problems.

“It can be difficult to fight stereotypes but you brush it off, it is just people being ignorant. We live in a society where everyone is different so it is important people understand each other so we can live in harmony together.”

Barnet Mayor Brian Schama joined Jewish and Christian speakers from 3FF in discussing their religions and answering questions from students.

Mayor Schama said: “Because I am Jewish, it is wonderful to come to a school of another faith and see pupils are studying other religions and making themselves aware.

“The more people understand each other’s faiths, the more chance we stand of having a peaceful world for future generations.

“This today is all part of hopefully making our tcommunity a better place.”

Charity representatives visited 15 schools across London today, one for each year of its existence, and headteacher at Ayesha believes the experience can only be positive for students.

She said: “People put on a brave face when it comes to prejudices but that is not going to educate people.

“Discussions like this show people of other religions believe similar things and they are not that different.

“This generation of children has it in them to change prejudiced views and break stereotypes far better than the current generation of middle aged people.

“If we want to make the world a better place, we have to show them this.”