Monday, July 2, 2007

It's all about the PR

Outrage at the attack on Glasgow Airport echoed across Scotland's Muslim communities, along with determination that it should not damage relations with the wider public.

Religious leaders, police, and politicians stood shoulder-to-shoulder to condemn the incident and praise Muslims' place in Scottish society.

But there was also relief at early reports that neither of the two men arrested was a Scot. At a press conference at Glasgow's Central Mosque, Assistant Chief Constable John Neilson received applause when he informed the audience that the two suspects arrested had travelled recently to Scotland.

He told them: "The people we have in custody came to Scotland a short while ago to seek work. I'm sure the community in Glasgow in particular will be reassured: these are not your young people."

Mr Neilson, who is responsible for community safety within Strathclyde, said Muslims and non-Muslims alike would be "horrified" by the incident on Saturday.

He was joined by First Minister Alex Salmond, who said communities should not be "dislocated or distracted" by the attack. "Scotland as a whole values this community. And this community values Scotland," he said.

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