Bid to build East Lothian’s first mosque

A Bid is being launched to build the first mosque in East Lothian. Asian community leaders are set to meet council officials to discuss finding a suitable site or building that could be converted. More than 100 Muslim families from across the county currently have to travel to Edinburgh for prayers at least once a week. There are seven mosques in the city, and three in West Lothian, but none in East or Midlothian. East Lothian Ethnic Minority Forum, which has a majority of Muslim members, has put forward the idea. It says a purpose-built mosque could cost £300,000, so an existing building would be the best option in the short term. Jalal Chaudry, the forum’s vice president, said members planned to meet local councillors and officials to discuss the idea. He said: “Almost every council area has its own mosque, but we don’t have any. “We’re supposed to pray five times a day, preferably in a mosque. Even if that’s not possible, we should at least go for Friday prayers. “The problem is, people in East Lothian have to close their shop or leave work for two or three hours and travel to Edinburgh.
“There are also quite a few people who live in Edinburgh, but work in East Lothian. “We also need to teach our children their religious education. Usually children go after school, or on a Saturday, but at the moment they have quite a long journey.”

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Muslims cancel plan to stage anti-terror march in capital

A planned march by Muslims in Edinburgh to demonstrate their opposition to the London terrorist attacks has been cancelled. Muslim leaders met to discuss a possible march at the weekend, but have decided to hold low-profile local events instead. Smaller-scale prayer meetings and vigils are now set to be held across Scotland to help remember those who lost their lives in last week’s attacks. Jalal Chaudry, chair of the Islamic Society of Scotland and a member of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “It was felt there was not enough notice for people to travel from all over Scotland to a march.”