Tom Gallagher, Professor of European Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, also attacked the SNP. He said: 'Mr Salmond's decision to place the prestige of his office behind the launch of the SIF is likely to have reverberations not only in Scotland but much further afield. This organisation wishes to impose a nar-row form of political Islam on Scottish Muslims.' At the launch of the SIF in Edinburgh, Mr Salmond said: 'The foundation will strengthen Scotland's Muslim community and Scotland's reputation around the world as a role model of diversity and understanding.' The First Minister last night hit back at the criticism. A spokes-man for Mr Salmond dismissed Professor Gallagher's remarks as 'nutty' and described the centre's com-ments as 'beneath contempt'. He said: 'Speaking from a distance about Scotland, and about things they clearly know nothing about, their ignorance is staggering. This initiative was established on a cross-party, cross-community and inter-faith basis. Every faith group in Scotland was represented at the launch, including the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church - it was addressed by Cardinal Keith O'Brien. 'Leaders of the opposition also spoke at the launch - Annabel Goldie for the Tories, LibDem leader Nicol Stephen and Pauline McNeill for Labour.' Mr Saeed said he had been an MAB spokesman but when asked about its 'links' with the Muslim Brotherhood, said: 'You'd have to ask them (the MAB) about that.' Mr Saeed said the SIF aimed 'to accentuate the progressive elements inherent within the Islamic faith' and added: 'We're about freedom, human rights and democracy. 'These Right-wingers say we're lying about that. We'll continue working as it is very difficult to dialogue with such a McCarthyite position.'
Tom Gallagher, the chair of peace studies at Bradford University, describes Saeed as "an unapologetic advocate of the hardline Islamism" and has accused him of deceiving Scots by hiding his real agenda.
The Sunday Times (London)
April 13, 2008
Reckless Alex must be stopped
BYLINE: Tom GallagherSECTION: FEATURES; Scotland News; Pg. 19
- Graham Grant 'Salmond in row over new Muslim group' Daily Mail (London) June 27, 2008 Friday, SECTION: SC1; Pg. 5
- Gillian Bowditch 'A reluctant fundamentalist?' The Sunday Times (London) June 22, 2008