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Archive for June, 2008

Introduction and Thanks
• Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, delighted to join with you all this afternoon for the official launch of the Scottish Islamic Foundation.
• Congratulations to everyone who’s worked hard over the past year to get to this point.
• As the Chief Executive Officer and the driving force behind the Foundation’s establishment, congratulations to Osama Saeed in particular.
• Congratulations also to the many other committed and talented individuals who have been involved – Bashir Maan, Imam Mustaqeem Shah, Ken Imrie, Humza Yousaf, Noman Tahir and many others.

Contribution of the Muslim Community to Scotland
• Over the time that I have known many of you, I’ve seen at first hand your commitment not just to your faith, but to the success of this nation.
• Individually, and together, you have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and understanding of Islam – and highlighted the contribution that Scotland’s Muslims make across the full spectrum of our national life.
• Your efforts are helping to forge bonds of understanding, and breaking down barriers, between Scotland’s diverse faith communities.
• And reinforcing the fact that Scotland’s Muslim communities are very much part of our nation, and the threads which make up the vibrant, colourful tartan of our society.
• Scotland’s Muslim community takes pride in its Scottish heritage. And as First Minister, I certainly take pride in the contribution that you make.
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It is indeed a pleasure being here for the launch of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation.

One might almost be tempted to ask why has this not happened already in Scotland, when there are so many effective links between Christians and Muslims here and throughout the world.
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Check against delivery

I’m delighted to welcome you all here today to our launch. It’s been a fair time coming, we’ve been working on the organisation for a year now. I’d like to first of all pay tribute to the work of all the volunteers that have made the foundation what it is and what it will be.

It’s an honour for me to work with such a committed and talented team.

The anniversary of the airport attack is an appropriate time to discuss our plan of action, not least because it was as a result of the attack that the need for the foundation became apparent. There wasn’t a natural platform for younger Muslims to properly vent their feelings about the atrocity that had taken place. We organised the first Muslim demonstration against Al-Qaeda anywhere in the world, and it’s that type of trend setting creativity we want to regularly bring to the Islamic scene.
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