Friday, 24 August 2007

Terror in Glasgow

BBC Radio Scotland
Thought for the Day
Amanullah De Sondy 02/07/07

On Saturday afternoon, Glasgow came under terrorist attack. Suddenly, the violence of extremism was here among us - not on the streets of London, or across the ocean in Manhattan, or far away in the neighborhoods of Bagdhad. When two men rammed a petrol-filled jeep into Glasgow airport, they ignited not only themselves but the fears and revulsion of the whole nation.

I was informed of these horrific events as I was returning home from lunch, with one of my Christian friends, when she sent me a message saying that she couldn’t understand how anyone, would want to harm themselves and their fellow human beings by such an act of terror. I don’t understand either: it’s against my moral and religious values as a citizen of Scotland, and as a Muslim.

I believe that religion, especially religious scripture, can be a force for harm, as well as good, if people misuse and abuse it. The fanatics of extremism are twisting scripture to their own political ends, which are contrary to the essence of Islam’s peaceful message. I personally find liberation through my reading of the Qur’an as I believe it teaches me to become a better person, and promote good in the society in which I live.

I have always believed that Scotland is a unique and welcoming country. I still do. But Saturday’s events should raise alarm bells: we need to continue to make sure that our Scottish soil never becomes a breeding ground for discontent, prejudice and violence.

It’s time to unite as Scots, regardless of race or creed, and raise our progressive voices to overpower the irrational ones, who want to harm my country, my fellow Scots and my neighbors: we are all mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers in this multicultural and multi-faith Scotland. Dangerous times ahead, lead me to believe that we must stop merely celebrating diversity, and take up the challenges it brings with it.

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