Last night I was part of a large group who were invited by the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society to a Reception in the Scottish Parliament. It was an extraordinarily diverse gathering – churches and other faith communities, politicians, community leaders. The First Minister came and gave an address.
In the best sense, this is the new Scotland – delighted to affirm its diversity. It was clear that the Shia Muslim community is feeling a new confidence about its place in Scotland. They feel accepted and valued. And that is something that we should all take pleasure in
I couldn’t help reflecting to myself that the position of a minority Christian church is slightly different. We are deeply rooted in the history of Scotland. Nobody can take that away. But maybe the very fact that we are woven into the fabric means that nobody is going to queue up to make a fuss of us!
There were some brave things said last night – about extremism and religiously-motivated violence. But there were some things we need to talk some more about. For example, we could be exploring what a multi-cultural society will look like.
But for now …… ,it was an important and very welcome moment and I was glad to be there.