Muslim student leaders have condemned a report published last week which insinuated links between an Edinburgh mosque and hate-literature. The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) branded the report by the right of centre think tank The Policy Exchange as a “PR stunt” which could undermine ongoing efforts to advance interfaith dialogue and community cohesion across Edinburgh.
The report was published after a culmination of a year-long project in which researchers visited 100 mosques across Britain. It claimed that a pamphlet found at the Islamic Centre of Edinburgh, which is linked to the Edinburgh Central Mosque on Potterrow, advocated the killing of Muslims who have turned their back on their religion.
Faisal Hanjra, spokesman for FOSIS condemned the think tank’s report stating: “The Policy Exchange document does nothing more than present single sentences, from often large documents, out of context. The report also fails to adequately define the term ‘extremist literature’ instead applying this label to anything outside of the authors’ own personal realm of social acceptability. Finally, the report arrives at the illogical conclusion that this literature is in part responsible for terrorism, something not supported by the actual contents of the report.”
The Islamic Centre of Edinburgh refused to comment on the allegations but a senior source branded the report as a “smear campaign” which damaged the reputation of the Edinburgh Mosque, widely renowned as being at the forefront of building bridges between the Muslim community and the wider British society. Secular schemes run at the Centre such as the Mosque Kitchen are particularly popular with students.