Visit to remote mosque during Ramadan ‘humbling’

Able Seaman Ebrahim Dollie with members of the Cocos Keeling Islands mosque. Photo: Lance Corporal Casey Flanagan

Visit to remote mosque during Ramadan ‘humbling’

Able Seaman Ebrahim Dollie had a special experience when he attended prayers at one of the most remote mosques in Australia during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Able Seaman Dollie is deployed in HMAS Glenelg on Operation Resolute and is the only Muslim in the ship.

He said he was thrilled to attend Friday prayers at the mosque in Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a small archipelago halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka and more than 900km west of Christmas Island.

“Visiting this mosque was a special and humbling experience during this holy month,” Able Seaman Dollie  said.

“The opportunity to share this time with the Islamic community at Cocos Keeling Islands, as well as my shipmates, is something I will never forget.

“Being the only Muslim on board and being able to go ashore and be surrounded by my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters has lifted my spirits during this time of sacrifice even more, and for that I am forever grateful.”

Commanding Officer HMAS Glenelg Lieutenant Commander Alexander Finnis said he was pleased to support Able Seaman Dollie in his observance of Ramadan.

“The visit ashore was authorised by the Indian Ocean Territories Administrator and coordinated by the Maritime Border Command Logistics and Support Element on Christmas Island,” Lieutenant Commander Alexander Finnis said.

“All COVID-19-related restrictions were noted and the visit did not impact any people on Cocos Keeling or our ship’s company.

“Facilitating visits ashore such as these are an important way we can look after our people and respect diversity as well as engage with the local community – particularly when on patrol this far from mainland Australia.”

Operation Resolute is the ADF’s contribution to Operation Sovereign Borders, the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests.

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