I wrote a letter to The Herald newspaper (www.theherald.co.uk) on the issue of the first convicted Muslim terrorist in Scotland. This was published on 19th Sep 2007)
A shudder went down my spine when I read ‘Guilty: first Scots Islamic terrorist facing 15 years’ (Article by D. Henderson on 18th Sept 2007). A guilty charge in the Scottish court room must be accepted as a guilty charge in the Mosque halls. It is unacceptable and offensive to me, as a Scot who happens to be Muslim, to dodge outright condemnation of any individual who is convicted of having terrorist intentions. Acceptance of this verdict demands a significant response from us all. Sweeping the issue under the carpet is all too common in such quarters but the response of some that Siddique was ‘seeking answers on the Internet’ or that the Internet is the ‘big bad monster’ just doesn’t make sense to me.
The religious arenas may not be preaching a message of terror from the pulpit but their message of peace is most certainly not linked with Scottish society and culture. Could this be the main reason why the new generation of Scots are stuck between two extremes, between acceptance of all that is expected of them from so-called Muslim leaders, which is by and large a highly politicised Islamic view far from their realities, to the opposite end of total rejection, leaving them in an identity crisis and vulnerable from all avenues. What we need are Scots who are a happy medium between these two ends, spiritual and progressive. And so maybe we need fewer platitudes of politics from these Muslim leaders and more expressions of seeking the beautiful in Islam through the beautiful landscape, culture and promise of our dear Scotland. This begs the question, are our Muslim leaders and Mosque Imams up for this challenge or even equipped for this?
Amanullah De Sondy
School of Divinity
University of Glasgow