First mosque opens in Outer Hebrides

The first mosque in the Outer Hebrides has opened in time for Ramadan.

A derelict building in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has been converted into a mosque following a crowdfunding campaign which raised more than £94,000.

The local Muslim community, thought to number more than 50 people including a number of Syrian refugees, now has a dedicated place of worship for the first time.

Iman Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera speaks to members of the Muslim community in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis as they attend the official opening of the first mosque in the Outer Hebrides (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Members of the Muslim community attend the official opening of the Stornoway mosque (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Aihtsham Rashid, a mosque builder from Leeds, led the construction project.

He said: "We've got the job done in about four weeks, probably the fastest mosque that has ever been built.

"We wanted to have it ready in time for Ramadan.

"It's been very positive. A lot of people are happy in the community."

Members of the Muslim community in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis put down a prayer mat outside (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Laying a prayer mat outside the mosque (Andrew Milligan/PA)

There is said to have been a Muslim community in the area since 1945.

Ramadan starts on May 15 this year.

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