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10 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I September 2008
Modernising Muslims sign up as
Scottish Ambassadors to Islam
Scottish Muslims are planning a radical Global Day of Action on Poverty during after he spoke at the Edinburgh Television
campaign to play a greater role in Friday sermons and it is hoped the Islamic Festival, to discuss how Scotland can be
the country’s civic life, to change the voice wil be heard in civil society, as promoted across the Islamic world.
perceptions of their religion and to promote Muslims join in the “big” debates. They spoke about an Islamic financial
Scotland as an ideal country for Muslims Yousaf added: “Most of the time expo, due to take part in Scotland early
to live and invest in. Muslims are talking about foreign affairs next year, which will be a showcase for
Members of the newly formed Scottish but what we’re trying to say is that there opportunities to invest in Scotland.
Islamic Foundation (SIF) are planning to are challenges here that we can tackle Osama Saeed, chief executive of the
launch the campaign, which will engage SIF, said: “We showed arguably the most
with issues such as the removal of influential Arab around the hills and the
nuclear weapons from Faslane and the lochs and he was really impressed. We
environment. also met with the deputy first minister and
Women will also be given a voice talked about how Scotland could promote
within mosques and will be encouraged itself and how little the Muslim world
to form committees to decide policies knows about Scotland.”
specific to them. Khanfar said he would consider making
Traditional practices will be adapted documentaries about Scotland and even
to respond to Scottish society, with the mooted the opening of a Scottish bureau.
intention of demonstrating the contribution The SIF also raised the possibility that
Islam can make to the country, and a new the links made with the Islamic world could
mosque, currently being planned by a enable Scotland to act as an international
group of men and women that are mostly peace broker, in a similar way to Norway.
under 35, is expected to be built in East Saeed added: “This may even be a good
Renfrewshire, embodying the current opportunity to ease global tensions and
thinking. we feel a responsibility to help if we can.
Hamza Yousaf, director of public “
affairs at the SIF, said: “We believe that The SIF claim to have the backing
the very nature of Islam adapts across of Scottish Muslims. One supporter,
the centuries, but what we are doing is Imam Mustaqeem who leads the Masjid
trying to modernise ourselves and remind al-Ferqan mosque in Glasgow and sits
ourselves of what Islam actually says, on the Scottish Interfaith Council, said:
reach out to the people of Scotland.” “I strongly support these Islamic ideas
This winter, a tradition called Qurbani, and proposals. It’s great to see efforts
an event that takes place in Ramadan, to bring the youth to Islam and I cannot
during which meat is donated and then see anything wrong, from the perspective
distributed among the poor, will be of the Islamic scholars, with bringing
reconfigured to benefit Scotland’s most as Muslims and need to have an Islamic something new to the fold.”
vulnerable groups. In past years, meat viewpoint on. Our aim is to get people The Scottish government is so firmly
has been sent back to Pakistan, the to change the way they are thinking and behind the SIF’s work, particularly the
country of origin for the majority of Muslim remind ourselves of the duty we have in expo idea, that it has donated £200,000
Scots, but this year the meat will be this country. The mosque should be the towards it. A spokeswoman said: “We
collected and given to vulnerable people hub of that and the madrasas Islamic believe that it is right to celebrate the
in Scotland, including asylum seekers and teaching seminaries are key.” diversity that exists in Scotland through
the homeless. As well as an ideological contribution, events like this. In supporting it we will
Representatives of the SIF will also sit there are plans to contribute to Scotland’s also be able to build links between
on the SNP’s working group on Trident; economy. Last week, the SIF met with communities and dispel the myths which
mosques are being urged to refer to the the head of Al-Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, undermine community cohesion.”
Knowledge is understanding
that a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting
it in a fruit salad.
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