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.]