Islamophobia Watch was delighted to take up our invitation to attend the launch of the Scottish Islamic Foundation in Edinburgh on Thursday 26th June.
We were in auspicious company; representatives from all 4 of Scotland’s major political parties spoke from the platform, including Alex Salmond, the First Minister.
The event had been the subject of much angst from the Islamophobes, Melanie Philips leading the charge.
Attempts by Tory blog ConservativeHome to smear the SNP Scottish Government backfired spectacularly with the appearance of the Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie at the event and her fulsome praise of the Scottish Islamic Foundation.
The audience also included representatives from Lothian and Borders Police and the Jewish community, further undermining Islamophobic attempts to portray SIF, and Osama Saeed in particular, as secret Islamic fundamentalists, intent on creating a “Caledonian Caliphate”.
From the perspective of this member of the Islamophobia Watch collective, the real story of the launch of SIF is the prominence of social justice and opposition to imperialism in its objectives.
Osama Saeed has repeatedly advocated the need for young, disaffected, Scottish Muslims to be given space to engage in political discourse.
The launch of the Scottish Islamic Foundation is exactly the space that is needed to develop that discourse.