Mohammad Asghar case: 28,000 people sign a petition calling for the release of the mentally ill Scot on death row in Pakistan

February 20, 2014

 

More than 28,000 people have backed a petition calling for the release of a mentally ill Scottish man sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy. Demands for Mohammad Asghar to be freed on humanitarian grounds have intensified since The Independent published an open letter today from politicians, academics, human rights campaigners and Islamic scholars appealing for clemency.

Mr Asghar, who has a history of mental illness and is thought to be a paranoid schizophrenic, had been detained under the Mental Health Act in 2010 shortly before he flew to Pakistan. Once there he became caught up in a dispute with a tenant who went to the police with letters written by Mr Asghar in which he claimed to be the Prophet Mohamed.

The online petition to David Cameron and Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, urges them to “intervene in the strongest possible terms to help save the life of a vulnerable British man”. The letter’s signatories raised concerns about the failing health of the 70-year-old grandfather and urged the Pakistani President, Mamnoon Hussain, to intervene stating: “We respectfully urge you to consider using your discretionary powers as President to pardon Mr Asghar and to allow him to be released from jail so he can receive his treatment and be reunited with his loving family.”

 

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mohammad-asghar-case-28000-people-sign-a-petition-calling-for-the-release-of-the-mentally-ill-scot-on-death-row-in-pakistan-9142349.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/mohammad-asghar-case-an-open-letter-to-pakistan-president-mamnoon-hussain-9139630.html

First Minister presents young Muslim awards

First Minister Alex Salmond attended the Young Scottish Muslim Awards at Celtic Park, Glasgow, which recognises the contribution the Muslim youth make to their community and Scotland. Mr. Salmond presented the award for Male of the Year to journalist Hassan Ghani, who studied at Stirling University and this year produced the widely acclaimed documentary The Disappeared.

Praising Mr. Ghani for his work, judges said: “He is a young journalist, dedicated to his profession as well as his Deen, and combining both he produced the powerful TV documentary, The Disappeared, which focused on those – up to 20,000 in Pakistan – caught in the War on Terror.”

The award for Female of the Year went to Safa Yusuf, who was described as a very active volunteer for Islamic Relief and for Muslim student associations at both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

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Scotland: Alex Salmond backs plans for Islamic faith school

The first state-funded Islamic school in Scotland could get the go-ahead soon after First Minister Alex Salmond declared that he was sympathetic with the move. A spokesman for Salmond said: “We are very much sympathetic to the idea. The First Minister is supportive. He thinks that faith schools are a good thing and they make a great contribution to Scotland. The issue is whether there is a sustainable demand for them. Campaigners for the school are planning to submit a detailed proposal to the Glasgow City Council. However, former Scottish education minister Sam Galbraith condemned the move, saying that it would hinder integration by the Muslim community.

Scottish first minister backs state funded Muslim faith school

Scotland’s first state-funded Islamic school could get the go-ahead within months after First Minister Alex Salmond declared he was “sympathetic” towards the controversial move. Campaigners are planning to submit a detailed proposal for the faith school to Glasgow City Council within two months and officials last night confirmed they would consult on the proposal. But former Scottish education minister Sam Galbraith condemned the move as a “retrograde step”, arguing that it would be bad for the Muslim community by hindering integration. Scotland has around 43,000 Muslims, about 18,000 of them in Glasgow. While there are more than 100 Islamic schools south of the border, both private and state-supported, Scottish Muslims have so far failed to establish a faith school and some in the community question whether it is a good idea in an age of increased ethnic and religious tension. Scotland has more than 400 publicly funded Roman Catholic schools as well as three state-supported Scottish Episcopalian schools and a publicly funded Jewish school. A spokesman for Salmond said: “We are very much sympathetic to the idea. The First Minister is supportive. He thinks that faith schools are a good thing and they make a great contribution to Scotland. The issue is whether there is a sustainable demand for them. “We would expect a local authority to react positively where there is a sustainable case.”http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=1C478BB83DA79EC7CC793AE4&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Scottish Authorities call for Unity after Glasgow Attack

{Scottish authorities call for unity and respect for diversity following the recent trauma of an attempted attack at Glasglow International Airport on June 30, 2007. Talks were held following the attack between government officials and representatives of the Muslim community as part of Scotland Executive Mr. Salmond’s “One Scotland” campaign.} Original Title: “Call for unity after Muslim talks” Scotland’s communities must hold together against the threats of terrorism, racism and sectarianism, the first minister has urged. The call came as Alex Salmond met with Muslim leaders at a Bute House reception as part of the Scottish Executive’s One Scotland campaign. Mr Salmond said Scotland must not allow divisions to be created from within. Last month’s Glasgow Airport attack have led to fears of possible reprisals against the Muslim community. Mr Salmond was joined by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing and Solicitor General Frank Mulholland for the meeting, which included a question and answer session and an open discussion.