Scotland: New Muslim organization to engage in civic life

Scottish Muslims are planning a radical campaign to play a greater role in the country's civic life, to change the perceptions of their religion and to promote Scotland as an ideal country for Muslims to live and invest in.

Members of the newly formed Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF) are planning to launch the campaign, which will engage with issues such as the removal of nuclear weapons from Faslane and the environment.

Women will also be given a voice within mosques and will be encouraged to form committees to decide policies specific to them.

Traditional practices will be adapted to respond to Scottish society, with the intention of demonstrating the contribution Islam can make to the country, and a new mosque, currently being planned by a group of men and women that are mostly under 35, is expected to be built in East Renfrewshire, embodying the current thinking.

Hamza Yousaf, director of public affairs at the SIF, said: "We believe that the very nature of Islam adapts across the centuries, but what we are doing is trying to modernise ourselves and remind ourselves of what Islam actually says, reach out to the people of Scotland."

This winter, a tradition called Qurbani, an event that takes place in Ramadan, during which meat is donated and then distributed among the poor, will be reconfigured to benefit Scotland's most vulnerable groups.

In past years, meat has been sent back to Pakistan, the country of origin for the majority of Muslim Scots, but this year the meat will be collected and given to vulnerable people in Scotland, including asylum seekers and the homeless.

They spoke about an Islamic financial expo, due to take part in Scotland early next year, which will be a showcase for opportunities to invest in Scotland.


Source: Asian Image (English)

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