On Islam
On Islam

Scotland, 12 Shawwal 1436/28 July 2015 (MINA) – Celebrating the rich contribution of the Muslim population in Scotland, a new social media campaign has been launched to collate and collect the history of the country’s Muslim community through sharing reflections and stories.

“Muslims have made a positive impact on Scottish society,” Habib Malik, the community interests director at Napiershall Formula, which is managing the campaign on behalf of the Scottish Muslim Heritage Trust said, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“We are inviting Muslims across Scotland to tell their stories, by digging out those old photos, letters, and artefacts that capture the past and present.

“These memories and untold stories of our parents and grandparents should be recorded and archived for current and future generations.”

The Scottish Muslim Heritage Trust was set up in 2013 as a registered charity, chaired by Bashir Maan, the first elected Muslim councillor in Britain.

Maan has recently published a trilogy of books chronicling the history of Muslims in Scotland.

The campaign was suggested as Scottish Muslim leaders have become increasingly wary of the effect of growing threat of extremism on the image of the minority.

As fears increased after recent attacks in Tunisia and France, Scottish Muslim organisations such as the Glasgow-based Ahl-ul-Bait Association were quick to condemn the attacks, stating they are willing to “do whatever is necessary” to stamp out extremism in the community.

“The project also allows us to show young Muslims the proud and positive history of Muslims in Scotland and show them that this is their country too,” Malik said.

“This campaign offers an opportunity to allow young Muslims to understand their roots and the contribution of their elders. It offers tremendous value.

“At present in Scotland there are 85,000 Muslims representing more than 40 different nationalities. There are large Arab, Iraqi, Syrian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, Scottish Muslims are not just one single identifiable group like many think,” he added.


Using the hashtag #MuslimsInScotland, the campaign has already attracted responses and personal stories from all corners of Scotland.

“There are some amazing stories to tell. One I have shared is that of my father’s tea flask which has been passed down through five generations of my family,” Malik said.

“When my father, Mohammed Saddique, came to the UK from Pakistan in 1961 he had no money and had to borrow 1,700 rupees from a villager just to afford the fare. He had very few possessions, just a handful of clothes, and a tea flask. I still have this tea flask, and it means so much to me.

“My father eventually settled in the East End and in the early 1970s went on to become the first Muslim black cab taxi driver, not just in Scotland, but the UK and also the first Asian to open an MOT station.

“To ensure the success of this campaign, I request and encourage that people share their own stories. What untold stories does your family have? Do you know who built the first mosque in Scotland? Who the first Scottish Muslim scientist was? The first shopkeeper, the first halal butcher or even the first Muslim bus driver? What were the challenges they faced?”

Scotland has about 75,000 Muslims. About 40% of them live in Glasgow.

Muslims are the second largest religious group in the country, which has around thirty mosques. (T/P006/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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