New mosque in Stornoway Image copyright PA Image caption The mosque is available to the Western Isles' Muslim community of more than 50 people

The first mosque to be built in the Western Isles has opened ahead of the beginning of Ramadan.

A semi-derelict store building in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has been converted into the place of worship.

The mosque is available to the Western Isles' Muslim community of more than 50 people.

Until now, Muslim families have worshipped in their own homes and booked community halls for celebrating religious festivals.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins on 15 May.

Image copyright Google Image caption The building, seen here before the conversion work began, where the mosque has been built Image caption Work started on the mosque soon after

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

He had earlier supported the promotion of a fundraising effort which generated more than £59,000 towards the cost of building the mosque.

There has been a Muslim community in the Western Isles since 1945.

During the 1980s and 90s the community grew to as many as 80 people, before numbers dwindled to about 25 members.

However, in the past few years the community has begun growing again after families fleeing conflict in Syria were resettled in the islands.

Image copyright Stephen Branley/Geograph Image caption The mosque has been built in Stornoway on Lewis


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