Thursday, 23 June 2011

Hate Crime Law Timetable Pushed Back

After preposterously claiming that waving the Scottish or British flags, singing Rule Britannia or the Flower of Scotland or making the sign of the cross could be a criminal offence, the SNP has now postponed the introduction of their proposed new hate crime legislation.

Opposition MSPs, both Old Firm clubs and the Church of Scotland had all opposed the speed at which the new laws were being pushed through parliament.

Alex Salmond announced today at First Minister's questions that the legislation would not be in place for the start of the football season in July and would instead be delayed for six months.

The Scottish Parliament's justice committee had expressed concern over the speed with which the bill was to go through.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Muslims to Break Away From Scottish Education System

MUSLIM leaders are planning to break away from the Scottish education system and create their own schools because the current curriculum does not include enough about Islam.

The Sunday Express has learned parents are angry their children are not being given schooling according to their religious beliefs and claim teachers are even promoting “unIslamic principles and behaviours”.

Some have even threatened legal action to force councils to open state-funded faith schools at taxpayers’ expense.

Others want the “relatively affluent” Muslim community to take matters into its own hands, starting with Scotland’s first Islamic high school.

Parents and supporters are being rallied on an Internet chat room called One father explains the plan is to “form a steering group of individuals who wish to contribute towards the creation of an Islamic Secondary School for Girls in Glasgow”.

The anonymous man – TariqM – adds: “I have spoken to a number of Imams representing the primary Masjids (mosques) in Glasgow and in principle everybody agrees the ideal solution to education for Muslims would be within an environment that has at its core an Islamic ethos.”

Another member proposes legal action over the city council’s refusal to fund an Islamic state school, stating: “There is a case to be made by the Muslim community against Glasgow Council claiming religious bigotry and discrimination.”

Sajid Quayum, president of the Glasgow branch of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), said he was aware of the group and its plans.

“Education is something close to the heart of all parents,” he said. “They are venting their frustration over not being able to ‘play the system’ as other religious groups have in the past.

“There is a lot of disagreement in the wider community whether having an Islamic state school is what we want. Some say it would be a good thing but others say there is enough separation from the main community as there is.”

Mr Quayum, a TV producer, also claimed children of all religions and backgrounds are not learning enough about Islam in school.

He said: “A lot of teachers are a little bit worried about trying to cover Islam because it has so many social and political issues.

“We have set up a teacher training programme called Islam Information Scotland. When we have approached RE teachers, they say they will often focus on a particular religion for a year, such as Hinduism, but it will rarely be Islam because they are worried about offending Muslims.

“There is a perception that we are consistently getting offended, but there are only a few groups out there who do that. Unfortunately, it is them who always appear in the news.

“This is not about pushing our religion into schools, just a feeling that there is not enough understanding of the issues.”

Scotland currently has one Islamic primary school, the private Qalam Academy in Glasgow. Two other private primaries, in Glasgow and Dundee, closed after damning inspection reports.

There are Catholic, Episcopalian and Jewish state schools and First Minister Alex Salmond has backed plans for an Islamic state primary in Glasgow.

However, councillors refused permission because of fears it would lead to isolation of young Scottish Muslims.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

In Scotland, Pakistanis Can Now Marry Strangers From Pakistan Over the Phone

That is the implication of this story:

A doctor who got married by telephone to a car dealer in Pakistan has failed in her bid to have the wedding declared a sham.

The woman asked the Court of Session in Edinburgh to grant a decree of nullity because she suspected her husband of staging the marriage to dodge immigration rules.

But Lord Stewart, in a written decision, said the ceremony appeared to be valid under Pakistani law and he therefore had no power to quash the marriage.

The woman had argued that the court had the authority to act because she made the nuptial phone call from Scotland.

She told the court she met her husband on the internet in about 2004, when he told her he was a 27-year-old manager of a car showroom in Dubai.

However, he gave a postal address in Karachi. The woman's mother then travelled to Pakistan to meet him and returned saying he was not suitable as a husband.

Nevertheless, her daughter stayed in touch with her fiance and agreed to marry him on January 12, 2005.

She told the court she thought the groom was in Pakistan and also spoke to someone she thought was a priest. She also signed a marriage certificate which she took to the Pakistani consulate in Glasgow.

In a statement sent to the court, she explained: "I was going through a lot of pressure at the time and I was feeling bad about myself. I had just failed first year of university and I was getting a lot of hassle from my parents about it.

So we now have a Pakistani doctor, presumably practising in Scotland, who failed her first year at university and has such a retrograde mindset that she marries strangers over the phone? What an inspiring thought.

"It was a very difficult time for me. I was vulnerable at the time. I knew that I should not have done it but, at the time I was sincere."

Maria Clarke, counsel for the woman, admitted that an expert on Muslim and Pakistani law said that telephone marriages were valid and increasingly common in Pakistan and, according to the laws of that country, the wedding seemed to be legal.

But she argued that there was a "key question" about where the wedding had taken place because the bride was in Scotland during proceedings, and the telephone wedding did not comply with the requirements of Scots law.

Lord Stewart said in his judgment that previous court decisions had established the principle that if a marriage was legal in one country it could not be overturned in another.

He quoted the case of an Irishman and a Ghananian woman in England who sent a bottle of gin and some cash to Ghana where a ceremony was held according to tribal custom, even though neither bride nor groom attended.

"The Court of Appeal recognised the union on the basis of expert opinion to the effect that a marriage in absentia was formally valid according to the customary law in question," he said.


So Scotland simply accepts foreign marriage law unquestioningly? This means that elements of the Sharia are de facto accepted in Scotland, since legal systems in Islam-dominated countries are often based on the Sharia. Presumably the stranger married over the phone would then be entitled to immigrate to the UK and access a range of benefits?

Or even strangers rather then stranger? Since these foreign legal systems accept polygamy, what's to stop a Pakistani resident in Scotland setting up a conference call with his entire extended family and marrying them en masse, securing them immigration and benefits rights in the UK? This is utter madness.

Friday, 17 June 2011

At Last Some Voices of Reason on the Religious Hatred Law

Both the Herald and Scotsman have stories quoting various people expressing reservations about the upcoming Religious Hatred bill the SNP is planning to introduce. It's particularly interesting that some of the reservations are coming from the churches themselves.

After meeting Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham, who is piloting the Bill, the Right Reverend David Arnott, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “The speed at which it is being rushed through means it appears to lack scrutiny and clarity. The Government is rightly asking for support from across civic Scotland, but is not giving civic Scotland much time to make sure they are happy with the content.”

Catholic Church spokesman Peter Kearney said the “truncated timescale” reinforced the need for close scrutiny. He added: “Equally, however, the timetable does suggest that urgent political attention is being given to a high-profile problem. Tackling incidents of football-related intolerance in this way will allow a wider and longer debate to take place on sectarianism and its underlying causes, without the constant distraction of football-related incidents, which statistically account for less than 15% of sectarian offences in Scotland.”

The Law Society has also urged caution.

However, the Law Society of Scotland said the Bill is being pushed through Parliament too quickly and that the resulting lack of scrutiny may create legislation that is open to successful challenge.

Bill McVicar, convener of the society's criminal law committee, said: "We understand the importance of tackling sectarianism. This is a very serious issue and one that needs both attention and action from our political leaders. However, it is because of the importance of this issue that the Scottish Government needs to allow adequate time to ensure the legislation can be properly scrutinised.

It's good that there are now some prominent naysayers in this debate.

The actual text of the proposed bill has now been published here. Looking at it, it does seem less worrying that I feared it might be. I still don't agree with the restrictions on free speech, but it looks as though it won't have much effect on criticisms of Islam. First, the part of the bill that requires physical presence is specifically limited to "in relation to a regulated football match". Second, the part that relates to communications rather than physical presence requires an element of threat to be present and includes a reasonableness defence. Either Condition A or Condition B below must be fulfilled for the act to constitute an offence.

Condition A is that—
(a) the material consists of, contains or implies a threat, or an incitement, to carry out
a seriously violent act against a person or against persons of a particular
(b) the material or the communication of it would be likely to cause a reasonable
person to suffer fear or alarm, and
(c) the person communicating the material—
(i) intends by doing so to cause fear or alarm, or
(ii) is reckless as to


Condition B is that—
(a) the material is threatening, and
(b) the person communicating it intends by doing so to stir up religious hatred.
(6) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to show that the communication of the material was, in the particular circumstances, reasonable.

The official press release about the bill also says this:

The offence will NOT:

Stop peaceful preaching or proselytising

Restrict freedom of speech including the right to criticise or comment on religion or non-religious beliefs, even in harsh terms

Criminalise jokes and satire about religion or non-religious belief

I still wish the bill would go away but it at least seems to be not as bad as I expected.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Humza Yousaf Attacks the Government's New Anti-Terror Strategy

Humza Yousaf has an article in the Scotsman today in which he attacks the (London) government's new anti-terror strategy.

The article carries the headline "If extremism is to be conquered, the Muslim community must be given tools for the job" but he never actually explains what these tools are. His view seems to be that Muslims should simply be left alone. Interestingly, he speaks up in favour of free speech (for Muslims, of course).

The strategy of empowerment must be underpinned by the belief that good speech will always defeat bad speech, something I think we have demonstrated many a time in Scotland.

In 2010, the Scottish Defence League announced they would be marching through Glasgow. Instead of badgering the government to ban such a group, the voices of reason took to the streets under the banner of "Scotland United". Whereas the extremists numbered around 70, the Scotland United group was more than 3,000. While not being complacent, the spectre of the SDL has since dwindled and is almost out of sight.

Somehow I think that his support for free speech won't extend to getting rid of the laws that currently restrict it.

Furthermore, Westminster's attack on university Muslim associations across Britain is also in danger of alienating the moderate majority, who will now be reluctant to put their head above the parapet and challenge extremist ideology should it rear its ugly head.

Ah, ye old Muslim classic argument. "Give us what we want or else we'll kill you" dressed up as something moderate and reasonable.

He endorses our friend Mona Siddiqui and someone called Shaykh Amer Jamil, who I've never heard of but will now need to research.
Dr Mona Siddique at Glasgow University to Shaykh Amer Jamil of the Solas Foundation we are lucky to have some extremely well qualified and moderate voices that are established and respected within the Muslim community in Scotland.

Be sure and leave your comment on his article as unlike the pitiful Herald, the Scotsman doesn't do "prior restraint" censorship. I'm sure some comments will be deleted, but they can't delete them all. All in all, the article is poorly written and structured. He demands that Muslims be given "the tools for the job" without ever explaining what they are. It almost reads like a stream-of-consciousness piece that a not-too-bright student would fling together one morning when he realised he had an essay to hand in that day but had forgotten all about it. This shows his meagre intellectual calibre, but then the Scottish Parliament isn't exactly a highly competitive environment in that respect, is it?

[UPDATE: Actually I see this was actually published a week ago. I missed it at the time.]

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Humza Yousaf Has Converted His White Wife to Islam

Truly sad. The information comes from a piece about our friend Humza Yousaf in the Scotsman today:

NEW SNP MSP Humza Yousaf says he wouldn't be in the Scottish Parliament if it wasn't for his love of chocolate.

Yousaf, 26, says it was the prospect of a Toblerone from his dad Muzaffar Yousaf – the first non-white member of the SNP – that first got him going out on his bike delivering leaflets for the party.

The Glasgow MSP, who wore a traditional Pakistani sherwani for the swearing-in of the newly elected members, and took his parliamentary oath in Urdu, describes himself as a "secular Muslim" and an "ardent Celtic fan".

He also talks about being threatened with suspension from school for leading a demonstration in George Square against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, only to be saved by his dad who told his son's teachers that they should have been proud of the city-centre protest.

But what marks the young nationalist out as a bright prospect in the next parliament, and likely to go places fast is that he is clearly one of Alex Salmond's favoured sons among the new SNP intake.

Alex Salmond does seem partial to those Muslims doesn't he? Humza Yousaf's cousin Osama Saeed was reported to be another of his "favourite sons".

Yousaf, who is a Glasgow University politics graduate, talks fondly about the time he spent working in Salmond's constituency office in Peterhead, and jokes that he was the "only Asian in the village".

Having worked for the first Muslim MSP, the late Bashir Ahmad, in the last parliament, Yousaf boasts an intriguing CV, which includes stints working in a Scottish Power call centre and in a "dusty" cash and carry warehouse as a teenager.

"Before the politics work, during the school summer holidays, I can remember being put on a work placement at a cash and carry warehouse in Glasgow, which was really dusty.

"I also worked in a Scottish Power call centre, which was so demoralising that I left after two weeks because there was so much of a culture of giving the hard sell to customers over the phone."

Yousaf describes his faith as "important to him", but says his horizons have been broadened by the conversion to Islam of his wife Gail Lythgoe – a fellow SNP activist.

He says: "Faith is quite important to me. My wife Gail Lythgoe is a white Muslim convert and this is obviously something that has broadened my horizon. I would describe myself as a secular Muslim who wants secular laws.

"I have interests outside politics, though, and I go to watch Celtic as much as I can. Also I used to play for an inter faith football team against the parliament team."

A secular Muslim whose faith is important to him? Sure. Gail Lythgoe, or rather Gail Yousaf as her name now presumably is, may want to examine the fate of some other white European girls who formed relationships with Mohammedans. There's an interesting story in the German newspaper BILD today about a German woman who married a Muslim and had a daughter with him. When the relationship broke down, the Muslim tried to sell the 11-year-old daughter to a 70-year-old Saudi.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Muslim Mona Siddiqui Gets OBE

Mona Siddiqui, about whom I have written before, has been awarded an OBE "for services to inter-faith relations."

She said the experience was a humbling one, given that she still does not know who nominated her.

Ms Siddiqui, who set up the Centre for the Study of Islam at the university, said: “In this fractured culture that we live in, this honour bears witness to the importance of inter-religious work.”

Sure. These interfaith events have been a tremendously helpful tool for the Muslims in maintaining the public pretence that their "faith" is something other than it is.

She admitted to feeling “chuffed”, adding: “Someone took the time to write a letter and put me forward for an honour. That is something I find very humbling.”

Ms Siddiqui is chairwoman of the BBC’s Scottish Religious Advisory Committee and has advised on a number of legal prosecutions.

That's very interesting, that she advised on a number of legal prosecutions. I would love to know more. Perhaps she advised on the prosecution in which a man got 2 years for pulling a Muslim's veil off. No doubt she'll be able to give more sterling advice to Wee Eck once he's passed his online religious hatred law next week.


Friday, 10 June 2011

Scottish Government Preparing Indoctrination Programme for Children

There is an unbelievable article cum interview in the Times today featuring a so-called expert who says we need to brainwash children:
The twin scourges of sectarianism and addiction are closely linked and should be explained to children as young as ten, according to a world expert on conflict resolution.

Ministers have given a cautious welcome to the call, from Mary Sharpe, an international advocate, for school pupils in Scotland to be taught about the dangers of sectarianism, as well as about the risks of drink and drugs. The two, she believes, are closely linked.

Ms Sharpe has recently returned to Scotland after researching the radicalisation of young Muslims for Nato. She wants to set up a centre for conflict resolution in Edinburgh which, she hopes, will be able to help the fight against sectarianism.

Sure. She wants to set up a Centre for Conflict Resolution that will no doubt cost the Scottish taxpayer a few million a year.

She believes that sectarianism in Scotland is inextricably bound up with the nation’s problems with addictions — particularly with alcohol — and she is adamant that both addiction and conflict resolution have to be in the curriculum if Scotland is to become a tolerant country.

A spokesman for the First Minister, who will publish a Bill to tackle sectarianism next week, said that Ms Sharpe appeared to have a lot to offer the debate. “We would be very keen to take this farther and see what she has to say,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wee Eck gets ready to "criminalise online postings of religious hatred".

Alex Salmond has made the battle against sectarianism the immediate priority for his new administration and its first piece of legislation will be the anti-sectarianism Bill, which is due to be tabled before parliament later this week.

The Bill is expected to increase the maximum jail term for sectarian hate crimes from six months to five years, criminalise online postings of religious hatred and outlaw displays of sectarianism at football matches.

From all the hysteria about sectarianism, you would think there had been pitched battles in which hundreds of people had died. What in fact happened was that four players were sent off in an entertaining, rough-and-tumble football match. But these people have nothing better to do than invent imaginary solutions to problems that barely exist. And in this case their proposed remedy is far worse than the disease it is supposed to cure.

Ms Sharpe said she was delighted that Mr Salmond had identified the key importance of the link between addiction and sectarianism in his attempts to tackle the issue and she said she hoped that the election of the new SNP administration would provide an opportunity to take this work farther. “I am excited by the change in climate in Scotland and the willingness there now is for the country to face up to its demons,” she said.


She added that the only way the root causes of these issues could be tackled properly was to change the school curriculum and teach children about addiction and sectarianism from the age of ten. “We have to get into the schools."

"We have to get into the schools"! Creepy. This is like something out of the Soviet Union or Mao's China, and there is virtually no resistance to it. No one in public life is willing to draw attention to the dangers of ideologising education, of governments being allowed to indoctrinate children.

“We have to teach the teachers so they can make the children aware of what is happening and then they can influence their parents,” she said.

So not only do they want to brainwash the children; they want to use them as propaganda change agents to influence their parents. We are in George Orwell territory here.

And a look at this woman's bio makes it even more disturbing. She has deep-level connections to the power structures of the EU.

She practiced law for fifteen years in Scotland and in Brussels at the EC Commission where she developed her knowledge and experience of cross-cultural legal, political and business practice. In Brussels, she also trained as a jounalist in a specialist communications unit with senior operators from the BBC and the Financial Times for the then EC Commissioner for Science and Education, Edith Cresson, former Prime Minister of France. She was a speech-writer for several EC Commissioners and spoke on behalf of the EC Commission at conferences and seminars worldwide.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Anti-Jihad Training for Primary School Teachers

Our friend Humza Yousaf is at it again, agitating for us to lessen our guard against jihad violence.

SCOTS children as young as five are being targeted by teachers in case they have been radicalised by extremist groups.

The move is part of counter-terrorism training given to staff at primary schools as part of the UK Government’s strategy to deal with the problem.

Teachers at a school in Glasgow contacted local politicians after undergoing the training, which aims to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in extremism.

The programme will be rolled out to other primary schools, while several secondaries and colleges have also put staff through the initiative, a localised part of the Government’s Contest counter-terror programme.

It has sparked concern counter-terrorism is being added to an already long list of job requirements. It has also led to accusations that teachers are being forced to spy on young children in the name of national security.

Senior officials within Glasgow City Council’s education department have confirmed that staff at Glendale Primary in Pollokshields had attended the training.

Teachers later contacted politicians with their concerns. The school is in one of the most predominantly Muslim communities in Scotland.

The revelation follows the Coalition Government’s decision this week to scrap the Prevent part of the Contest strategy which gives councils a role in fighting extremism.

Officials said the training was about child protection and it was “not just considering the threat from organisations such as al Qaeda, although the police advise us that this is currently the highest threat”.

Correspondence seen by The Herald also states the head teacher at Glendale Primary “had made it very clear that it was counter-terrorism and that it was not targeted at the Muslim community – rather it was within child protection and looked at the influences children can be faced with from a range of pressure groups”.

Glasgow SNP MSP Humza Yousaf said: “If teachers are being asked to look for signs of radicalisation among primary school pupils then this is an incredibly worrying development. This will undoubtedly lead to questions about whether or not students from a particular race or faith background are being unfairly targeted and monitored. We cannot have a culture of teachers spying on primary school pupils. I am sure they would not be comfortable doing so.”

Hugh Donnelly, secretary of the Glasgow branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union, said: “Clearly this is a sensitive area and if there were any obligations being placed on teachers which would conflict with their role as teachers, particularly with regard to child protection issues, then we would be concerned.”

Pollokshields Tory councillor David Meikle said: “The threat of home grown terrorism is high in this country and it is important we take action to address it, including training teachers to spot early signs of radicalism in young people.

“I also support greater emphasis on integration – this is crucial to ensure strong communities where terrorism cannot flourish.”

Contest has been led in north of the Border by the Scottish Government and the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland (ACPOS).

Training for teachers has involved workshops and presentations which “help participants to recognise some of the issues that may lead individuals to becoming, or supporting, violent extremists”.

It discusses the role of teachers and how they can get involved and refer individuals to some form of intervention.

A city council spokeswoman said: “The school facilitated a request from Strathclyde Police to deliver the training and guidance to teachers during an inset day.

“Its aim is to advise teachers on the correct procedures they should follow if they have any concerns about information disclosed by a child. The approach is the same as that used for other child protection issues.”

Acpos said it was part of a programme designed to get the anti-extremism message into schools and colleges.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Scotland in a Time Warp

There could be no clearer illustration of the extent to which Scotland is in a timewarp on the question of coming to grips with the threat of Islam than Ruth Wishart's article in the Herald today.

She has a bright idea about how to minimise the threat of terrorism. The idea is - wait for it - multiculturalism.

But the battle to make society safe from terrorist acts can also be fought on other fronts. I would contend that multiculturalism is actually the sanest weapon available to us all in this ill-named “war on terror”.

This is a bit like saying, "I've got a great idea about to improve our economy: nationalise all private property, let the government run all the companies, give jobs to those best suited for them and let a central committee allocate national resources to wherever they are needed most."

It's been tried, dear. It didn't work. All across Europe multiculturalism is being disavowed, but Ruth Wishart thinks it sounds like a great idea.

There was a time when this kind of naive, utopian thinking might have been viewed indulgently. After all these are clearly nice, gentle-minded people. And like many nice, gentle-minded people, they tend to think that deep down everyone else is basically nice and gentle-minded too. But there is no excuse for it now. There were the same mistakes that were made in England and in every other country in Europe that has been colonised by Muslims. Those approaches failed - everywhere they were tried. Indeed every approach to integrating Muslims anywhere in Europe has failed. A variety of different policies produced exactly the same kind of failure: no-go areas for non-Muslims, massive Muslim benefits dependency and fraud, systematic aggression against non-Muslims, the cultivation of contempt for the indigenous population and the incubation of terrorism. This is what Muslim colonisation has produced in every part of Europe.

And this is all the more extraordinary because the Muslims themselves were different. They came from different countries. They spoke different languages. They were different genetically. In Germany, they came from Turkey; in France, from North Africa; in Britain, from the Indian sub-continent. Yet all these diverse Muslims managed to produce exactly the same set of problems, problems that other third-world immigrants didn't produce.

There is only one thing these Muslims had in common: Islam. The only reasonable conclusion is that there is something in the nature of Islam that produces these problems. Even if you knew nothing at all about Islam you could reach that conclusion through the simple application of logic.

Scotland is 30-40 years behind England and most of the rest of Europe in the extent of Muslim colonisation. It would be tragic if Scotland had to go through exactly the same process, making exactly the same mistakes that all the other countries made, learning nothing from the lessons they left behind. But if it's left to people like Ruth Wishart, you can be sure that is exactly what will happen.


Monday, 6 June 2011

Labour MSP Anne McTaggart Allegedly Referred to Ethnic Minority Colleague as 'The Bomber'

The Herald has a story today about recently-elected Labour MSP, Anne McTaggart, who in a previous job as a community support worker, referred to one of her ethnic minority colleagues, presumably a Muslim, as "the Bomber". After complaints against her were upheld, she was re-assigned and sent on indoctrination courses.

A newly-elected Labour MSP was disciplined in a previous post after verbally abusing and intimidating a colleague from an ethnic minority, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

Anne McTaggart was moved to another job and attended an anti-racism course after her employer upheld a raft of complaints against her.

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said the party would be asking “a number of questions” about the revelations.

McTaggart, 41, was elected as a Glasgow List MSP at last month’s Holyrood election. An ally of Steven Purcell, the disgraced former city council leader, she is also a councillor for the Drumchapel and Anniesland ward.

Before being elected as a local representative in 2009, she was employed by Glasgow City Council.

However, McTaggart’s employment as a community support worker was marred by controversy.

An investigation has revealed two colleagues made a total of four separate complaints against her in 2006. Three of the four, this newspaper has learned, were upheld.

One complaint centred on claims McTaggart made a threatening remark about a co-worker. Another complaint focused on accusations she intimidated another colleague.

The final investigation related to allegations McTaggart referred to the same employee, who is from an ethnic minority, in disparaging terms.

Following a disciplinary hearing, McTaggart received a warning and was relocated to another part of the city. She was also suspended for a short period and attended equalities training.

A source close to the MSP said the course was also attended by other colleagues.

The source added McTaggart denied that the inappropriate language included describing her former council colleague as “the bomber”.


West Dunbartonshire Council Boycotts Israeli Books

The council is SNP-controlled but all 22 councillors (9 SNP, 9 Labour, 3, Independents, 1 Scottish Socialist) voted for the resolution in 2009. It's interesting that the SNP is not only not boycotting, but is actually giving foreign aid to countries like Pakistan and the Maldives, where the persecution of Christians by Muslims is rife.

Amusingly, this seems to have gone global on Israel-sympathetic sites round the blogosphere. I don't know if any of them have picked up on the SNP's donation of money to Islam-dominated countries that persecute Christians but if they did, it might be a good way of exerting pressure on the SNP about it. All the information is on this site.


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Government Wastes £1 Million Trying to Persuade Third-world Chancers to Go Home

The Herald today reports on the scandalous waste of £1 million on a daft scheme, called the Family Return Project, designed to persuade "failed asylum seekers" to go home voluntarily. A failed asylum seeker, of course, is a third-world con artist, someone whose claim for asylum has been carefully assessed and deemed to be fraudulent. Of the 50 con-artist families who participated in the project, not one of them left voluntarily. Some were deported forcibly; many are still in the country.

THE Scottish Government has been accused of dragging its feet over the release of a report into a failed million-pound project to persuade asylum seekers to return home.

The scheme, which had been designed to help convince families to leave “under their own steam,” failed to record a single success story after none of the almost 50 families involved agreed to leave voluntarily.

The Family Return Project was launched with great fanfare in June 2009 and was seen as a “humane alternative” to forced deportations.

It followed years of bad publicity over dawn raids and stories of children being held at the Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire.

Under the project, failed asylum seekers and their families were moved into specially designated flats in Glasgow. There social workers and other professionals offered them intensive support in an attempt to help them prepare to leave the country.

The Scottish Government sat on this before the election and now they have to come forward with its results

It was felt offering asylum seekers more control over the process could help them exit Scotland with more dignity than a forced deportation.

During the process the children of the family could remain in school, in an attempt to minimise disruption.

The pilot project, which is thought to have cost £1 million, was run by the Scottish Government and the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Together they have commissioned the report from an independent group, ODS Consulting.

It is understood a number of families referred to the project refused to take part. Although none of the families is believed to have volunteered to leave Scotland, it is thought some were deported under the old system by the UKBA.

Ian Davidson, Glasgow South West Labour MP and the chairman of the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, said the report must be released immediately.

He said: “The Scottish Government has sat on this for too long. They sat on it before the election and now they have to come forward with its results.

“How long do you need to tell that this has been a complete failure? The Scottish Government has also now got to tells us what their alternative is to this failed idea.”

An official UKBA publication on a similar project in the north of England recorded the results of the Family Return project.

It found that of the 48 cases referred none had voluntarily left Scotland.

A Government spokeswoman would only say that the report would be published “shortly”.

She added: “It was thought important to have this kind of report to learn lessons from the pilot project and assess how things can be improved in the future.”

The UKBA said that the Family Return Project did not cost any more than processing the failed asylum seekers through the normal channels.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Didn't Take Long Did It?

Newly appointed MSP Humza Yousaf has already started to agitate on behalf of Muslim interests and against the interests of the Scottish people, and he seems to have roped the rest of the SNP hierarchy into his plans.

Airport Open Day for Minorities

Notice it says minorities when it's really specifically about Muslims.

Ethnic minority representatives will be invited to a security open day at Glasgow Airport to try to allay fears they are being singled out for questioning by security staff.

Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf has been in discussions with airport authorities following claims that some ethnic minorities would rather travel to Manchester or London rather than face "awkward questions" at Glasgow.

Mr Yousaf said: "During the election campaign, a number of folk raised it with me. People have been stopped four or five times and asked really awkward questions like: How many times a day do you pray?; What mosque do you go to?; or Does your wife wear a headscarf?."

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 empowers police officers to stop and question travellers at UK ports and airports without needing reasonable suspicion that the person is engaged in terrorism.

A BAA Glasgow spokesman said: "Schedule 7 checks are a police matter so we cannot comment specifically. However, we have good relations with ethnic minority groups who we meet with on a regular basis, and we will help facilitate an open day to explain the procedures involved in the security screening process."

Mr Yousaf welcomed the airport's approach. He said: "There was a report in The Guardian (newspaper) that said that people from ethnic minorities are 42 times more likely to be stopped under Schedule 7 in UK airports.

"From speaking to people, the situation seems to be a lot worse in Glasgow than anywhere else, to the point where some people are travelling to Manchester or London to take a flight instead.

"I spoke to one individual who has lived here for 35 years and is well integrated in the community, who has been stopped several times and now takes the train to Manchester whenever he wants to fly."

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will be attending the meeting alongside Tayside Police's Assistant Chief Constable Colin McCashey, Scotland`s head of counter-terrorism.

He said: "There are some questions that need to be legitimately asked. Equally, there are manners and ways in which it can be done."

Source: The Herald

Of course the security staff who, before, were simply being appropriately thorough, will now be intimidated and will go softly-softly on the Muslims, increasing the risk to anyone flying in and out of Scotland.