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Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf leads Ramadan prayers

Scotland's first Muslim leader Humza Yousaf delivers Ramadan prayers
2 min read
29 March, 2023
Scotland's newly-elected first minister Humza Yousaf shared images of himself and his family in prayer after historic news of his confirmation as the country's first Muslim leader.
Humza Yousaf became the first Muslim to head a major Western European democracy [source: Getty]

Scotland's first Muslim leader Humza Yousaf shared pictures of himself and his family breaking Ramadan fast, performing prayers and celebrating news of his historic appointment on Tuesday. 

The 37-year-old was confirmed as First Minister this week after Nicola Sturgeon's surprise resignation last month, ending her eight years at the helm of Scotland's devolved government. 

After winning the Scottish National Party (SNP) leadership race and securing his position with a chamber majority of 71 votes, Yousaf posted a photo of himself leading the Muslim Maghrib prayer, which in Ramadan is perfomed shortly after fast-breaking in his new official residence, Bute House. 

"A special moment leading my family in prayer in Bute House as is customary after breaking fast together," he said on Twitter. 

Yousaf is set to be sworn in on Wednesday following approval from King Charles III. His appointment makes Scotland the first democracy in Western Europe to appoint a Muslim leader.

In his victory speech, he said: "We should all take pride in the fact that today we have sent a clear message, that your colour of skin, your faith, is not a barrier to leading the country we all call home."

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Of the three top contenders in the leadership race, Yousaf was seen as symbolising continuity with Sturgeon. He received the backing of senior SNP figures. 

Yousaf said he is committed to tackling Scotland's cost of living crisis and achieving the goal of seeing an independent Scotland within his lifetime. 

The new First Minister is a practising Muslim, but has also said he does not belive legislators should be led by faith in their decision-making. 

He told reporters that his political awakening came after the 9/11 attacks when classmates asked him why Muslims hated America. After that, he said, he realised politics mattered.