Thursday, 12 June 2008

I am the West, The West is Me

I was saddened to receive this response to my blog piece on the 'Interfaith Hats',

"Oh yeah, welcome the muslims and the next thing you know they are suing you over some imagined offense. Welcome a muslim and "creeping sharia" is the serpent you let in. Stay in your damn desert lands and leave the west alone. You don't deserve our bounty and we certainly don't deserve your cancerous, parasitic presence."

Here is my response:

Dear Commentator,

Thank you for your comments. I have a few comments to raise too. These are exactly the sentiments that my blog aims to discuss. I cannot make it any more explicit that I am a product of the west, born and raised in Scotland. I take ownership of the society, culture, politics and anything that we have in our thistle nation and I hope that there is no need for me to 'prove' that I am an outsider. I believe that my faith is perfectly complimented in Scottish society and the infusion of my faith, Scotland and my south asian roots has given me an approach to life that I am so proud of. I'm also not going to defend ill informed Muslims who have a narrow interpretation of scripture and tradition that they seem to arm the sentiments of folk like you.

I will be the first to criticise Muslims and non-Muslims or anyone for that matter who does not uphold out shared values of peace, justice and co-existence. I will be the first to dismiss generalisations of any sorts or boxing whole communities into one box. This blog aims to unwrap the many layers of the Muslim communities and their very complex identities. I hope that you would read up a little about what the Sharia is and what its function, without understanding it through the extreme views of the 'chopping of hands' that some elements in the media like to present.

And finally, although I am tanned I would hate to live forever in the desert because I get headaches in too much sun! Maybe that's why God made me a Scot and a proud one at that! The fresh air of Scotland, the water that is renowned worldwide, ah - pure dead brilliant! I wonder how many of my fellow Scots would want to ship you off to the desert sands for a little while to cool yourself down in hope that you would look at me, and Muslims, like any other human beings on God's earth.

Och well, I wish you peace, success and prosperity.



  1. Aman, you're a good example to us all.

  2. I was recently very surprised and saddened by being on the receiving end of a "Go home" message myself in Glasgow (I'm Irish).
    My reaction was much more angry and hurt than your reasoned response.
    It's such a shame that the longer I stay in Glasgow (a city I have been proud and mostly happy to live in for the past year), the more I become aware of the ugly side of it.

  3. As a true Glaswegian of 53 years standing, this is a new and shocking development for me. I wonder just how widespread these opinions are among my fellow Glaswegians.

    Certainly the whole anti-muslim thing is perpetuated by our tabloid newspapers. and indeed some TV news reports. They suggest that Muslims are in some way a "threat" to our British (English?) Society.

    I grew up with corner shops run by Pakistani families, I still have one just around the corner frommy home. and they were lifesavers when we ran out of fags, milk, or even beans for the toast! Glaswegians welcomed these folk and treated them as our own. They were our friends and valued members of our community.

    I worked as a bus conductor in the early 70s, ad Glagow Corporation Transport would have ground to a halt without the Pakistani labour.

    Very few Glaswegians hold these extreme views, although I often wish that those of Irish decent who perpetuate sectarianism and hatred would consider moving elsewhere, but that's simply an angry reaction to the bile that descends from the stands at Ibrox and Parkhead!

    I value the Irish community and all it has to give. They are our celtic neighbours after all, and we have much in common.

    Glasgow belongs to all f us, and I believe that all of us, together, belong to Glasgow! I'd have it no other way.

  4. Narrow minded bigots