£59,461 has been raised, to build the first mosque on the Isle of Lewis, a small island north of Scotland. The planning permission for the mosque was granted in 2017, and the decision led to local opposition from the Free Church of Scotland.
Syrian refugees arrived in Scotland under the Governments resettlement scheme in 2015. In Stornoway, there are now six Syrian families, and during the 2011 census, there were 61 Muslims listed.
Aihtsham Rashid, a businessman from Leeds, had set up a JustGiving crowdfunding page, to raise £50,000 to build the first mosque in the Outer Hebrides. However, the page raised £59,461.
On the JustGiving page, Mr Rashid said, “There are just over 8000 people residing there. Amongst the 8000 people, there is a very small Muslim community including a small Syrian refugee community.
“The Muslim community who have been resident from 1945 have been trying for a long time to get planning permission for their very own mosque.”
He added, “Salaam all, I wanted to say thank you so much for Duas and support, it’s been so much I not slept! Do Dua as we have a big week for all of you, and we need you with us. ”
“I also want to say a special thank you to the local islander and business who I met, “you have been so nice, and I’m happy you represent the locals as without you it would also be difficult so from bottom of my heart and the Muslim community thank you so much and Inshallah we will all have tea together in the mosque.”
The Free Church of Scotland mentioned on their website in 2017, “Our main concern is with the religion of Islam itself. If a mosque ever opens, Islam will be able to promote itself in our midst through public worship, despite its beliefs and practices being alien to the religious convictions of the vast majority of our community. Islam is wholly inconsistent with the teaching of the Word of God in Holy Scripture, which is the only rule to direct us.”
They go onto to say that, Islam denies the divine person and work of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour, who did on a cross.
They additionally claim that, “Since Islam has no Saviour, it offers no hope to guilty and hell-deserving sinners, for we cannot save ourselves by our own works.”
“Islam is also incompatible with, and indeed a threat to, our religious and civil liberties, as is very evident from the situation which prevails in those countries where it dominates. The oppression of Christians and the reduced status of women under Islam are well-known, as is the willingness of some of its followers to spread its influence by violent means.”