THERE'S a warm fug of laughter and chatter in the Bull Lane Mosque. People are tucking into the generous spread of pakoras, samosas, sandwiches and salads laid out on a table, swapping stories, catching up.

Imam Abid Salik has to raise his voice above the noise to make himself heard.

There's a grey car outside, he says in a broad Hull accent. It's blocking someone's way. Could whoever it belongs to please move it? "The registration is CK1..."

"Oh, I think that's me!" says a small woman in a head scarf, bobbing her head playfully. There's a ripple of laughter as she hurries apologetically out to move her car.

It's Tuesday morning, open day at the mosque. This event was arranged months ago as part of York Interfaith Week. But in the wake of the weekend's terrorist atrocities in Paris, there is, despite the warmth and humour, really only one thing on everyone's mind.

"The people who hate ISIS most are Muslims," says mother-of-three Munawar Jabeen. "They are violating our name, our faith. They have nothing to do with us!"

Nahida Shaffi, Yorkshire born and bred and speaking with a broad West Yorkshire accent, agrees. "We don't consider them Muslims, because they took life," she says. Her first reaction, on hearing of the Paris attacks, was a dreadful sinking feeling. "I heard about it and I thought 'oh no, all those people killed'."

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Not in our name: Nahida Shaffi, left, and Munawar Jabeen abhor the terrorist attacks in Paris

Abid Salik, the mosque's young Imam - he's only 28 - is equally outspoken in condemning the attacks, and in expressing sympathy for the victims.

"My thoughts straight away went to those who have been through such a traumatic experience," he says. "Those who lost their lives have gone to a better place. But those left reaction was sadness, just sadness."

There is a genuine warmth about this small Muslim congregation in the heart of east York. It is evident in the welcome extended to visitors from The Press, and the plates of food they press into our hands. And it is evident in the way they take local people who make the effort to get to know them into their hearts.

Among the visitors is local businessman Gary Horwell, the Mormon son of the former Sheriff of York David Horwell. Maysoun Beebeejaun, 22, is putting together a plate of food for him. "Here you are, Uncle Gary," she says, passing it across.

York Press:

Friendship, not suspicion: the open day at the Bull Lane Mosque 

Gary beams. "When my daughter Kate was ill, this community prayed for her," he says. Kate had twice had a miscarriage, and was very ill when she became pregnant for the third time. "They prayed for her. These are good people. They care."

Perhaps the greatest fear, amongst members of this small community, is that terrorist acts such as those which happened in Paris will drive a wedge of misunderstanding and suspicion between them and the rest of York.

Munawar is distraught that the terrorists claimed to be acting in the name of God and the Muslim faith. They even cried out 'Allahu Akbar', God is Great, as they committed these atrocities, she says. What they did had nothing to do with God, or with Islam. "Islam means peace," she says. Her faith is all about looking after those who need support and protection, extending the hand of welcome and friendship to those in need. And yet those terrorists used the same words as they killed - Allahu Akbar - as she uses when she kneels to pray with her children. "How can I explain that to my children?" And how - though she didn't say this - can she possibly expect the ordinary people of York to understand?

Naseem Beebeejaun arrived in the UK as a nine-year-old girl when her parents fled Idi Amin's Uganda in 1972. She has never forgotten the way she and her family were welcomed by the people of Britain. "The part about British people I love is that they will stand up for the underdog," she says.

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'Every human life is important'. Naseem Beebeejaun, left, and her daughter Maysoun

Like everyone, her first reaction, on hearing of the attacks, was of sympathy and concern. "It was absolute sympathy for those innocent lives. The Koran absolutely does not condone taking lives. This is not what the Koran is about. Every human life is very, very important."

But her next feeling was one of fear - fear of a backlash, a rise of anti-Muslim feeling that will drive communities apart.

It's a fear shared by many members of this small community.

Nahida Shaffi has a typical Yorkshire sense of humour, broad and blunt - even when it comes to something as serious as terrorism. She uses it to distance herself and her community from the extremists who claim to act in the name of Islam.

"If we met ISIS, they would kill us straight away!" she says. "They would think my face is coloured, or I'm talking back to them ... or I'm talking English."

But the danger is that non-Muslims will see the acts of a fanatical, tiny minority of extremists as representing all of her faith, she fears: when they clearly don't.

The best way to counteract that is for people of all faiths and creeds to just talk to each-other, says Munawar. "This (the open day) is brilliant! she says. "When something like this (the Paris attacks) happens, if people just know each-other better, they would know that it (the terrorism) is nothing to do with Islam. That's why we need to build bridges."

York Press:

Building bridges: the open day at Bull Lane Mosque

Maysoun Beebeejaun agrees. She grew up in York, and went to school here. And she experienced a certain amount of racism: taunts, spitting, even physical bullying.

Things have been better in recent years, her mum Naseem says - but the worry is always that the fear generated by terrorist attacks will increase intolerance and suspicion, and the racism that goes with it.

Maysoun is now studying politics and economics at Buckingham University, and hopes to go on to be a commentator and journalist, speaking out about true Islam - the Islam of peace - and about what it is like to be a Muslim in a country where Muslims are in a minority.

Events like this open day are a great place to start, she says.

"People are not naturally bad, as long as they understand each-other. It is just about understanding. Just talking is a step forward."