Mosque feeding local asylum seekers through Ramadan and Eid

The mosque say sharing meals with asylum seekers has helped them bond with the rest of the community.

Celebrations have been taking place this week to commemorate Eid – marking the end of Ramadan and a month of daylight fasting.

Throughout the holy month, Bathgate Mosque has been feeding around 60 asylum seekers housed in the Cairn Hotel for the breaking of the fast.

The mosque were initially asked by West Lothian Council to help provide Quran books and prayer mats to the Muslim asylum seekers who had arrived in the town.

From there, the mosque began thinking of how they could further support those seeking sanctuary in their community and decided to provide free meals once the sun went down throughout the entire month of Ramadan.

Ridwan Abdulkadir fled his war-torn country in 2011. He arrived in West Lothian six months ago.

Ridwan Abdulkadir said he is grateful to Bathgate Mosque and the community for their support.STV News

Eid is often a reminder to him of time he’d usually spend with family but for the last month he’s found a sense of home with the Bathgate Mosque.

Ridwan said: “This is a special day for us. We celebrate it in our country with family, so it’s different now but here we feel with the Bathgate Mosque that we are with family.

“We are new for the Bathgate society and they took care of us so I really appreciate it and I’d like to say thank you to Bathgate a lot.”

This week, the mosque put on a special celebration to celebrate Eid together, with the asylum seekers, as a community.

Asaad Tariq, a Bathgate Mosque Trustee, said: “It’s really important to bring everyone together and I think that’s what the whole point of this.

“We’ve seen a huge change in the Cairn residents. When they came here, they were really reserved.

“They weren’t really talking to many people and the difference now with everyone is really just night and day.

“They’ve enjoyed the bond of getting to know the rest of the community which I think is really important for these asylum seekers coming into the country.”

Bathgate Mosque Trustee Asaad Tariq at their Eid event. STV News

Sufyaan Imran has been volunteering at the mosque helping to provide the free meals.

He said: “I feel like they’re pretty misunderstood. You can’t judge a book by its cover.

“I think that there’s a lot more to them than people understand.

“People need to give them a chance as a lot of them just want an opportunity to work and a place to fit in.

“Community and family come hand-in-hand so it’s definitely important to embrace both.”

Their work has been supported by many local businesses, councillors and MSPs.

Fiona Hislop, MSP for Linlithgow said: “Ramadan can be a very difficult time for many people.

“I think supporting people with the free meals and supporting those in our community that are seeking sanctuary is an exhibition of the best of this faith.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in