Over 100 people turned out on Saturday (June 15th) to mark the first anniversary of the opening of the Stornoway Masjid, the first mosque serving the Muslim community of the Western Isles.

A constant stream of visitors kept the party going until 7pm, with huge quantities of food provided by donations from local businesses and individuals, including 50 naan breads and a huge vat of vegetable curry, cooked at Bangla Spice restaurant.

Stornoway Masjid has provided a focal point for the Muslim community since its opening, Mosque secretary Mohammed Ahmed saying that it has drawn the community together in a significant way.

He told welovestornoway.com today (Monday June 17th): “We congregate there once or twice every week, and it has made a focal point for our community where we get to meet everybody regularly, instead of just bumping into each other from time to time.

“Everybody comes together there and it has meant we have got to know new arrivals on the island, including the people from the Syrian community. We have had two weddings in the Mosque since it opened, and this is the second open event we have held.”

Mohammed said that the Mosque had enjoyed excellent support from the whole island community since it opened, as shown by the fact that Saturday’s event overran its planned finishing time by two hours. He said “People just kept coming and everybody chipped in and brought a dish, so we were able to feed everybody extremely well. Thanks especially to Dr Wahid from Inverness, Mosque chairman Mansha Mohammed of Stornoway and chef Akhlu Miah (Bangla Spice) who helped to keep the event running.”

Pictures show Mohammed with na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan and with Mosque chairman Mansha Mohammed and the guests lining up outside the Mosque for the banquet. (Stornoway Masjid).