An update on this story, as an airing of legitimate concerns about officials’ unwillingness to ask possibly unpleasant, but necessary questions is met with a predictable wave of accusations of “Islamophobia.”
“Salmond response to airport attack ‘boost for radical Islam’ says academic,” by Eddie Barnes for The Scotsman:
ALEX Salmond has boosted the cause of radical Islam in Scotland in his response
to the Glasgow Airport attack, a leading Scots academic on religious affairs has claimed.
In a fiercely controversial commentary, Tom Gallagher, the chair of Peace Studies at Bradford University, said that Salmond had courted “radical voices” in the Muslim community following the attempted bombings, lending them a false layer of legitimacy.
He also accuses Salmond of deliberately setting out to exploit the attack to win favour with Muslims in Scotland, comparing the First Minister’s style at one point to former Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The comments triggered a furious backlash last night, with claims they amounted
to Islamophobia. Salmond’s aides meanwhile described them as “ridiculous”.
Gallagher’s attack, published on the website Open Democracy, was aimed
primarily at the Scottish leader of the Muslim Association of Britain, Osama Saeed, who was
also an SNP candidate in this year’s Scottish elections.
Saeed was among the most prominent figures to speak for the Muslim community
following the bombings, which he unreservedly condemned.
However, Gallagher accuses Saeed of being an “unapologetic advocate of the
hardline Islamism” and accuses him of deceiving Scots following the attack by hiding his real agenda. He attacks Salmond for giving Saeed a platform.
He said: “The Muslim community has been done a great disservice by the SNP
which has courted the more radical voices in the community and the result is that it will alter the balance of power in the Muslim community. I’m all for Muslims playing a full role in Scottish life but I think we need to do all we can to question those who just want Muslims to be oppositional and to have international loyalties.”