Sunday, 31 July 2011

Humza Yousaf Complains About Being Questioned at Airport

In the Herald yesterday, Humza was at it again - except this time he wasn't just complaining about Muslims in general being searched at airports; he claimed that he himself had been.
AN MSP has become the latest Muslim to be caught up by airport security checks while returning from holiday.

...Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf was selected from among returning passengers at Edinburgh Airport while coming back from holiday with his wife Gail Lythgoe.

The SNP MSP stressed he was not seeking special treatment just because he was an elected public figure, but he said it demonstrated Schedule 7 stops had no basis in terms of security or intelligence and were based simply on skin colour.

“I was stopped coming into Edinburgh Airport returning with my wife from a break in Istanbul via Charles de Gaulle in Paris, our first holiday since our honeymoon a year ago.

“We were pulled aside, our passports were screened under Schedule 7 and we were asked where we had been and why we were there. It is the fourth or fifth time this has happened to me, but the first since I was married last year.

“My wife felt humiliated and I felt angry at this. Coming into Edinburgh Airport you should be thinking about whether your luggage is there rather than this kind of thing.”

He added: “The problem is that under Schedule 7 they don’t even have to have reasonable suspicion to stop you. It’s a shame. This is my home, my country. It’s where I was born, and I hope I would have a history of public service.

A history of public service? Is that a joke? He was appointed an MSP a few weeks ago and has spent all his time since then agitating on behalf of Muslims and against the interests of the Scottish people. A history of public menace more like.
“I don’t expect any preferential treatment from anyone else, but this demonstrates there is clearly no intelligence involved whatsoever, nothing other than the colour of your skin or the flight you are on. No-one else was stopped on our flight, so far as I could tell. I am not saying this is racist. It’s just that it isn’t led by good intelligence.”

In fact there are compelling reasons why Humza Yousaf's name should be right at the top of the airport security staff's list of suspicious characters.

Humza Yousaf's cousin, Osama Saeed, spoke admiringly of the terrorist leader Anwar Al Awlaki. Like Saeed, who also stood as a candidate for the Scottish National Party, Yousaf was a director of the Scottish Islamic Foundation, which had documented links to Islamic extremists.

The Quilliam foundation said this about these links:
Through the Scottish Islamic Foundation, Osama Saeed has given a platform to some of the most prominent Islamists in the UK. For example, the SIF has arranged on two occasions for Kemal Helbawy, the founder of the Muslim Association of Britain, and Alamin Belhaj, the head of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, to lecture young Scottish Muslims on Islam. On other occasions, Saeed’s SIF has given platforms to yet more foreign Islamists, including two senior members of the Brotherhood-linked Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the former head of the US branch of the Saudi-Wahhabi group the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY).

The Times reports that the Scottish Islamic Foundation arranged a "meeting between culture minister Linda Fabiani and Mohammed Sawalha, who is alleged to have directed terror operations in the West Bank."
Sawalha, president of the British Muslim Initiative, was named in US court documents as a leading militant in the early 1990s “in charge of Hamas terrorist operations within the West Bank”.

The documents alleged he met two “conspirators” accused of laundering millions of dollars to finance the group’s activities. In 2006, the BBC’s Panorama accused him of directing funds to Hamas’s armed wing.

The cleric, who arrived in Britain 17 years ago and was given indefinite leave to remain, has refused to denounce the terrorist group.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Herald Describes Historical Knights Templar as Freelance Group of Fundamentalists

In an article about Anders Behring Breivik today, the Herald described the historical Knights Templar as a freelance "group of fundamentalists".
The original Knights Templar were a 13th century group of fundamentalists effectively acting as freelance security service for Christian pilgrims in medieval Europe.

It's hard to say what's more shocking here, the contempt for European tradition or the sheer ignorance of historical facts. First of all, the Knights Templar were founded in the 12th century, not the 13th, century and were officially dissolved by order of the pope in the early 14th century. They safeguarded pilgrims in the Holy Land (Middle East), not Europe, and they did a bit more than merely safeguarding pilgrims in any case.

There was even a book published a few years ago that floated some interesting (if far-fetched) theories about the role of the Knights Templar in Scottish history. Essentially, the authors argued that the Templars had fled to Scotland en masse (along with much of their treasure) after being officially dissolved by the Pope and persecuted throughout Europe. In Scotland they were safe because the edicts of the Pope were disregarded there owing to Robert the Bruce having been excommunicated because he had killed one of his rivals in a church. According to this book, the Knights Templar may have intervened on the Scottish side at the battle of Bannockburn, ensuring the Scottish victory. They then went on to embody their secret knowledge in Rosslyn Chapel and evolve into modern freemasonry.

As I say, this strikes me as "over-imaginative" historical writing, but either way I'm sure the historical Knights Templar deserved better than to be called a freelance "group of fundamentalists" by a clueless Herald journalist who ought to know better.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Ramadan Message from Alex Salmond

First Minister of Scotland, Rt Hon Alex Salmond, MSP:

On behalf of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland, I would like to wish all Muslim communities in Scotland and beyond, Ramadan Mubarak.

The ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar and this great religious observance in Islam is intended to teach patience, humility, and spirituality. This month of fasting - from sunrise to sunset each day - and spiritual reflection, also places a particular focus on family and charity, reminding Muslims to consider those less fortunate.

It is an example we can all follow. This Government values the positive influence Muslims have on our communities, and the rich tartan tapestry of all of our faiths add to our strength as One Scotland with many cultures.

May your Ramadan bring peace and blessings.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Humza Yousaf Has an Article in the Huffington Post

In the article, he pushes his "moderate Islam/tiny minority of extremists" line. Comments are open there.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Man Jailed in Scotland for Pulling Off Woman's Burka

Six months for racist attacker who pulled off woman's burka

A man has been jailed for more than six months after he grabbed a Muslim woman's burka and pulled it off.

Duncan Gandy grabbed the woman's burka, which covered her from head to toe, as she walked through the Kingdom Shopping Centre in Glenrothes.

Kircaldy Sheriff Court heard the victim, Sheheen Khan, was left "extremely distressed" by the attack.

Gandy, 31, of Provosts Land, Leslie, Glenrothes, previously admitted assaulting Ms Khan by pulling the burka from her face and head on May 9 this year in a racially aggravated attack. He further admitted breaching bail.

Defence lawyer Robert MacDonald claimed Gandy "bore no ill will towards anybody from any particular religious group or faith". However, he said his client accepted his actions would have been "distressing" to his victim.

Sheriff Grant McCulloch told Gandy that jail was the only possible sentence for an "offensive, frightening and demeaning" attack.

He said: "Suddenly, without warning, you pulled the burka from her face. That was clearly offensive, clearly frightening and clearly demeaning for her.

"There is no mitigation that can be put forward other than the fact you were under the influence of illegal substances. That, in my view, is an aggravation not a mitigation and I take the view that only a custodial sentence is appropriate."

He was jailed for 135 days for the racist attack and 60 days for breaching bail.

Gandy's jail term was welcomed by anti-racism campaigners.

Naeem Khalid, co-ordinator of Fairness, Race Awareness and Equality Fife, said Gandy had attacked a vulnerable woman as well as her faith.

He said: "Everyone's religion should be respected.

"People must have the freedom to practice their religion and the freedom to express that.

"The burka is a principle of her faith and, for me, to remove that is attacking her faith and belief.

"She was a vulnerable female and the attack will have other repercussions as it will affect her confidence to walk in public."
Source: The Herald (14.07.2011) (print edition only - does not appear on their website)

Humza Yousaf Gets In On the Airport Agitation

I was surprised that the Herald's two articles yesterday about the supposed Muslim boycott of Glasgow Airport didn't feature our friend Humza Yousaf. But never fear. Humza has managed to get in on the airport action now in today's Herald.

SOME innocent Scottish Muslims have been questioned by terror police more than 15 times, campaigners against racial profiling at airports claimed last night.

Asians, usually men, say they are being stopped almost every time they fly, regardless of where they are going.

The claims were made by a group of prominent young Scottish Muslims, including Nationalist MSP Humza Yousaf and human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, as they set up a new Independent Advisory Group on the issue.

Mr Yousaf said: “I was astonished that people claimed to have been stopped at Glasgow airports more than 15 times.”

Mr Anwar said: “Thousands upon thousands of innocent Muslims and other minorities are being harassed and targeted by police every time they go to the airport.”

The Herald yesterday reported some campaigners saying that Muslims are continuing their long-standing boycott of Glasgow Airport, the scene of Scotland’s only major Islamic terror incident and home to what they believe are the most jittery terror police.

Law enforcement sources claim they have stopped asking some of the questions Muslims found most offensive, such as whether they knew Osama Bin Laden.

Britain’s overall terror threat was this week reduced to “substantial” –meaning an attack was a strong possibility rather than a probability.

Assistant Chief Constable Colin McCashey, Scotland’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator, stressed the public would be unlikely to notice any difference in the way police behaved.
Source: Herald

If there's one good thing to emerge from this episode, it is the illustration of how ordinary Scots feel about this Muslim agitation. The comments to the Herald article were much more robust and less politically correct than I would have expected. But that's ordinary people. The elite, of course, are a different story.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Racist Attack by Asian in Glasgow Park

POLICE have launched an investigation after a man was shot with an air gun in broad daylight as he walked his dog in a busy park.

Detectives said the 20-year-old was in Queen’s Park in Glasgow on Saturday when a man leapt from the bushes and shot him in the arm and the leg.

The man had to be treated in hospital after the attack, which is thought to have been racially motivated.

Detective Constable Barry Hughes, of Strathclyde Police, said: “This would appear to be a totally unprovoked attack on a young man who was enjoying a walk in the park with his dog.


“It is believed that the suspect shouted some verbal abuse at the injured man prior to discharging the weapon and as such police are treating this incident as racially motivated.”

The shooting suspect was described as an Asian man in his 20s.
Source: Herald

Muslims Agitate to Reduce Airport Security, SNP Colludes

Members of the Muslim community have criticised stop and questioning techniques used to help battle terrorism at airports.

Out of an audience of more than 60 people at least 18 said they had been questioned while at an airport.

Around eight people held their hand up when the audience in Glasgow was asked if they had been questioned more than four times.

Members of the audience at the public meeting said "offensive" questions, including whether they prayed five times a day, caused anger and could put people off contacting the police in the future.

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 empowers police to stop and question people at UK ports and airports without any need for "reasonable suspicion" that the person is engaged in terrorism.

The public meeting - held at Pollokshields Burgh Hall in Maxwell Park, Glasgow - was attended by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill; Faroque Hussain, a Detective Inspector for the Ports Authority; and Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson from Strathclyde Police.

A 32-year-old man, who lives in the West End of Glasgow and wished not to be named, said he was questioned for 80 minutes after flying into Glasgow Airport in June 2009. Asked how he felt looking back on the questioning, he said: "I feel angry"

Detective Inspector Hussain, from the counter-terrorism and intelligence section, said since feedback from the community, officers at Troon harbour and Glasgow Airport and Prestwick Airport had undergone cultural awareness training and "enhanced interview" techniques.

But Mr Hussain's claim that officers no longer asked whether people prayed "five times a day" since he took up his post in August were challenged by members of the audience.

Chief Supt Nicolson said work with an independent advisory group, made up of people from the community, had also been listened to in the last year. He said the group along with 20 to 30 others had also visited Glasgow Airport to give feedback on approaches.

Note the security staff have now been forced to undergo 'cultural awareness' training. Also note the presence of Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson. This is the guy who, following the arrest in Glasgow earlier this year of the Stockholm suicide bomber's accomplice, was so 'culturally aware' that he said the following:
The most important thing here is the community reassurance, and getting information out to our communities, that this is not focused on any one community. This is an individual. Terrorism is a criminal act and that is how we will be dealing with this.

and implicitly threatened to arrest anyone who implied that terrorism might have a disproportionate link to any particular 'community':
We are working together with our community advisers, our community leaders to make sure that Scotland is a safe place.

If there any repercussions, if there are any raised tensions, if there’s any focus on one community we will be taking a robust stance on that.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Muslim Population in Glasgow

According to this article in the Evening Times, 3.1% of Glasgow's population was Muslim in the year 2001. This is based on census figures. Of course, it will have significantly increased since then. Figures for Muslim demographics in the UK generally show that they have been expanding at 6-7% per annum for the last four decades. This equates to doubling their numbers every 11-12 years.