Scotland and Terrorism: Are we safer?

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ‎‎

I’m still not sure if I should be writing this.  I’m not going to tempt fate and say we won’t see anything like the Manchester attack here. I’m just going to present some information which I think we should all be aware of and let you form your own opinion.

Before, I do that, I know we have lots of racists and Islamophobes in Scotland. I know there was an attack on Glasgow Airport in 2007. That was ten years ago, it’s worth remembering. I know two young Scots went to join ISIS. It was only two though out of 600 Britons. I know a Glasgow Muslim shopkeeper was murdered but that was by an English Muslim. If I’ve missed something out, please add it below.

First, see this extract from a Scottish Government research survey in 2011

‘In addition, Hussain and Miller (2004) argue that Muslims in Scotland are more likely to identify themselves as Scottish than Muslims in England are to identify as English (Hussain and Miller 2004, 2006). In their study, comparing experiences of Islamophobia and Anglophobia in Scotland, Hussain and Miller established that the Muslims interviewed found it very easy to identify with Scotland. They suggest this could be explained partly because their religious identity is seen as cultural and not territorial. This finding is supported by research conducted by Masud (2005) into the experiences of Muslims across Britain after the London bombings in 2005. In this research conducted across Scotland 27“it was widely acknowledged and appreciated that compared with other parts of the country, especially England, Scotland was a tolerant place” (Masud 2005).’

Second, remember the Glasgow Celtic, Green Brigade protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the crowdfunding which raised thousands to pay for sporting facilities in Palestine? I gave £20 and one of my uncles was in the Orange Lodge! People in the Arab world and Islamic people in England know about this.

Third, 100 000 people marched in Glasgow in 2003 against the Iraq war. Glasgow’s Islamic population saw this. The Herald newspaper exposed many of the atrocities committed by the Coalition there.

Fourth, 1.8% of the prison population in Scotland is Muslim. This is broadly in proportion to the 1.45% of Scottish population which is Muslim, and in significant contrast to the very large figure of 13% for Muslim prisoners in England and Wales.

Fifth, notably, although Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are still over-represented in more deprived areas of Scotland, they are less likely to be living in such areas in Scotland than they are in England.

Sixth, Muslims in Scotland are fast becoming a highly-educated population – currently exceeding the total population figure for ‘degree level and above’ education by 10 percentage points.

Seventh, almost 1 in 3 (31%) of the Muslim population is ‘economically active’ full-time – whether as an employee, or self-employed. For the population as-a-whole, the figure is 51%. It is notable that both of these percentages are higher than the corresponding figures for England and Wales which are 19.8% for Muslims and 34.9% for the overall population

Eighth, comparisons with the Muslim population in England and Wales suggest that Muslims in Scotland are somewhat socio-economically better off.

Ninth, ‘there are no radical preachers in Scottish mosques who are urging Muslims to commit violence abroad or at home.’

Tenth, earlier this year, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, first took his oath of allegiance in English and then in Urdu in the Scottish Parliament. Not something you can imagine in France.

Finally, see this:

‘Good community relations mean young Muslims in Scotland eschew extremism Unlike in England, there is mutual respect between the Scottish government, the Muslim communities and the police’

As-salāmu ʿalaykum. Peace be upon you.



19 thoughts on “Scotland and Terrorism: Are we safer?

  1. johnrobertson834 May 24, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    Perhaps further evidence?

    No troops on the streets in Scotland

    This in the Sun a few minutes ago:

    Home Secretary Amber Rudd today confirmed 984 military personnel had so far been deployed from a total availability of 3,800 troops.

    But top cops in Scotland today vowed to stick with armed police only for the time being, despite the terror threat level being raised to Critical following Tuesday’s atrocity.

    The move means it’s unlikely troops will be seen at major events including Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final at Hampden, or tonight’s Lisbon Lions tribute gig headlined by Rod Stewart at the 13,000-capacity Hydro in Glasgow.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. blane May 24, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    What a disgrace! Children dead, people dead, maimed, missing. And you feel it appropriate to post this smug self centred, self serving nonsense. Crass and wholly inappropriate.


    • johnrobertson834 May 25, 2017 / 7:12 am

      It can look insensitive, I see that. I did hesitate but I thought it might suggest solutions. I’m sorry to have offended.

      Liked by 3 people

      • John May 25, 2017 / 7:23 am

        You were laying down facts John , don’t apologise for that .

        Liked by 4 people

      • Clydebuilt May 25, 2017 / 10:56 am

        I’m with John, positive facts.

        Peace Always

        Liked by 5 people

  3. daibhidhdeux May 24, 2017 / 10:45 pm

    Perhaps there is a cultural sense of connectivity in the sense of shared communalistic values?

    Simply a thought. A conjecture.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. BSA May 25, 2017 / 12:37 am

    Or maybe there are not the numbers or the concentrations in Scotland which might generate conflict.


  5. Peter A Bell May 25, 2017 / 11:05 am

    The opening paragraph of this excellent article resonated particularly powerfully. I hope Professor Robertson will indulge me as I submit here something I wrote this morning. I think it may be relevant.

    One hesitates to comment at all on any aspect of the situation following the horrific events in Manchester on Monday night. There are always those who are poised ready to exploit anything that is said to further a political agenda. A ubiquitous feature of established power’s reaction in such circumstances is an effort to shut down discussion of the wider context surrounding terrorist incidents – even to to the point of denying that there is any such context.

    Commonly, one finds that the state and its agencies – including the mainstream media – assumes to itself the role of ultimate arbiter of what implications it is reasonable to speculate about. Anyone who strays into prohibited territory finds themselves set upon by the establishment’s attack dogs.

    It is, therefore, only sensible to anticipate that I will be vilified for noting that the official response to the Manchester bombing once again highlights the fact that Scotland is already a ‘separate’ country in pretty much every way that matters. A country with a distinctive political culture which stands in increasingly stark contrast to that which prevails in England.

    As I write this, people across the UK and beyond have observed a minute’s silence in tribute to those murdered, maimed and traumatised by an act of callous terrorism. There are those who would prefer that this silence be extended. They would like the power to insist on silence where and when it suits their purposes. They would like to prevent discussion touching on matters that may cause them difficulty or embarrassment.

    Those are precisely the circumstances in which we must insist upon our right to speak. These are the circumstances in which it becomes our duty to speak. These are the circumstances in which silence is irresponsible.

    It isn’t only terrorists who want to disrupt and disable the democratic process. When we are advised to be vigilant, we would do well to think very carefully about what it is we should be attending to.

    Liked by 6 people

    • johnrobertson834 May 25, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Thanks Peter, a very useful and thoughtful contribution. The other thing we fear to say is that they bomb us mainly because we have been bombing them or their co-religionists for decades. Maybe some of them disapprove of how some of our women dress but would they kill for that reason alone. I doubt it.

      Liked by 5 people

    • broadbield May 25, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Both John and Peter have raised important issues that need further and broader discussion. There were two articles in the FT a few weeks back, on facing pages. One was about the terrorism in Europe, and what an outrage and attack on democracy it was; the other was about US, UK and other European bombings in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq just after another mass killing of innocent civilians by the “Leaders of the Free World” and as a local pointed out every time there is such an incident another “terrorist” is recruited.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Clydebuilt May 25, 2017 / 7:48 pm

      Is there a link between the culprit nation pointed to by CM’s article and the leaking to the NY times of photos of the Manchester atrocities?


      • Clydebuilt May 26, 2017 / 1:01 pm


        Bagsey you first ……


  6. YESGUY May 26, 2017 / 12:11 am

    Thought provoking article and well written Sir.

    I would also point out although Scots troops were almost permanently used in Ulster No attacks came on mainland Scottish soil from I R A etc England was always in a state of rediness . I never entered a single garrison or regiment without layers of road checks and barriers .


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