The first mosque in the Outer Hebrides Islands will open this summer after a fundraising campaign raised more than £50,000 in an online appeal.
The mosque will open despite opposition from the local Free Presbyterian Church, which has urged its followers to pray that “no mosque ever appears in Stornoway,” the main city on the Isle of Lewis.
Aihtsham Rashid, the man behind the mosque construction project, was contacted by the small Syrian community of Lewis, whose numbers have recently increased with the arrival of six Syrian migrant families. Mr. Rashid said, “Against all odds and against the opposition of the Church of Scotland, we have now obtained a building permit.”
The Presbyterian Church responded in a statement, “If a mosque opens here, Islam can be promoted among us through public worship, although its beliefs and practices are foreign to the religious beliefs of the vast majority of our community.”
The Church has declared that Islam is “totally incompatible” with the values of the Bible and is “opposed to the Christian religion.”