Outer Hebrides island sees first mosque open in time for Ramadan

Aihtsham Rashid (centre left) greets Iman Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera in Stornoway as they attend the official opening of the first mosque in the Outer Hebrides (Andrew Milligan/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

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

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

Many locals donated to make the Mosque a reality for the island's Muslim community, which is thought to include around 80 people including a number of Syrian refugees.

They will now have a designated place of worship in time for Ramadan, which starts on the 15th May.

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."

In Stornoway, a strict interpretation of Christianity still reigns.

Despite some opposition from the local church, many residents were very excited about the project.

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