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Language: English / Gàidhlig

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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2019

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Sheku Bayoh, European Union Citizens’ Rights, Decision Time, Intimidation in Public Life


Contents


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Good afternoon. Our first item of business is time for reflection and our time for reflection leader is Ms Linsay Taylor of the Muslim Council of Scotland and the board of Interfaith Scotland.

Linsay Taylor (Interfaith Scotland)

Assalamo alaikum—I begin by addressing you with the greeting of peace.

In this moment of reflection, I would like to share with you how Islam as a religion has taught me to strive for goodness and how much of the work that we do in interfaith is to come together with goodness to share, to invite and to learn more about one another. For me, Islam is a way of life in which every one of us has a part to play in making a better world. That can be seen in Qur’an verse 49:13:

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”

The need to come together was instilled in me from a very young age through the eclectic mix of religions and beliefs in my family, who put interfaith and respect for one another front and centre. My uncle even jokes at family gatherings:

“A Muslim, a Jew, a Christian and an atheist all came together ... They were all in my house and they were all very happy.”

Interfaith Scotland, to me, is a continuation of the need to respect and work together. My upbringing helped me appreciate that there was more to each of us than what we see on the outside. I wear my scarf as an expression of my faith and as a connection to Allah. Despite the funny looks that I often get, my faith gives me strength inside and out and it binds me to hope and good actions for the benefit of all.

The Prophet Mohammed—peace be upon him—said:

“The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.”

I have learned that interfaith is about us coming together for not just good words but good deeds that make a difference. It is about giving back and working with communities that might be different from our own but that come together to work in hope and friendship. The Prophet Mohammed—peace be upon him—said:

“God is beautiful and He loves beauty.”

Islam has taught me this: a way of life that is beautiful in actions and words.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak today in interfaith week. [Applause.]