Humza Yousaf

“You who are my Comforter in sorrow,  my heart is faint within me. Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?” (Jeremiah 8 : 18 – 19)

“My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” (Jeremiah 4 : 22)

On Wednesday 29th March Humza Yousaf became Scotland’s First Minister. During the election campaign he kept quiet about being a Muslim. The media kept this quiet also. He was not interrogated about what his Muslim beliefs actually are. Kate Forbes was constantly asked questions about her Christian Faith rather than about her political vision for Scotland and her management strategy for the future. Yousaf appears not to be an orthodox Muslim and some Muslims disowned his candidacy. He supports non-medical gender identity, abortion and same-sex marriage. Kate Forbes as a devout Christian does not. Now Yousaf is identifying and being acknowledged by the media as a Muslim, being hailed as the first Muslim First Minister in the UK and being photographed with his Muslim family and friends, some of whom were in their middle east apparel.

So here is a significant paradox. A Muslim who does not appear to be a practising Muslim though he may attend a mosque and does not adhere to Muslim ethics is elected leader of the SNP and hence First Minister. A Christian who during the election campaign openly communicated her Christian Faith and answered persistent questions honestly – she was even asked if she would work on a Sunday – was not elected as the SNP leader and hence did not become First Minister.

This is what Scotland has become. It is a rejection of our Christian heritage from the time of Ninian, Columba and Cuthbert through Margaret, Patrick Hamilton, John Knox, David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Reith, Jane Haining and Kate Forbes. Did the Church of Scotland sound the trumpet on behalf of our devout sister? No. There was an uncertain squeak, a mealy mouthed abstraction criticising discrimination. Because the Church of Scotland now accepts same sex marriage, abortion and gender self identification. Simultaneously its fortunes have and continue to decline with alarming rapidity.

Yousaf was not asked about the conduct of Islam in the UK and in world today. He was not asked about sharia, honour killings, forced marriages and support for Islamic terrorism in the UK. He was not asked about the murder of Barra girl Eilidh MacLeod in the Islamic terrorist Manchester Arena bombing on 17 May 2017. He was not asked about ISIS and Boko Haram in Africa nor the continuing murderous persecution of Christians in Mozambique, Congo, Cameroon, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. He was not asked why so many Muslims are fleeing to the west. What are they running from? No-one asked him what the differences between Christianity and Islam are. He was not asked whether he thought that Muhammad is greater than Jesus. He did not acknowledge or refer to Scotland’s Christian history. At one point he described himself as a ‘Muslim Christian’. His Imam might not agree that that is possible. Such shallowness is acceptable in Scotland today. But do not underestimate Yousaf and his syncretistic values.

Islam has a doctrine of ‘taqiyyah’, which involves the practice of concealing one’s belief and foregoing ordinary religious duties. Derived from the Arabic word waqa (“to shield oneself”), taqiyyah  can be translated “precautionary dissimulation”. Koranic authority for taqiyyah is found in Sura 3 : 28 which says that, out of fear of Allah , believers should not show preference in friendship to unbelievers “unless to safeguard yourselves against them.” Muslims must believe that Muhammad is God’s final revelation, greater than Jesus. They must believe in and work and pray for the whole world to become Muslim. They can therefore keep quiet about this long term goal and seek to achieve incremental steps and victories on the way. Yousaf’s election as First Minister of Scotland is being seen throughout the Islamic world as such a victory. He released a video of himself praying with fellow male Muslims in Bute House on the evening of his swearing in. TV news described this as 'prayers for Ramadan'. These were prayers of victory in the seat of power. There were no howls of protest from the Scottish Secular Society as there would have been if Kate Forbes had won and had held a Christian prayer meeting in Bute House. There were no protests from feminists against the subjugation of women in Islam. Yousaf's succession was hailed as a triumph for diversity. He will at some stage have to exit his cover. Perhaps after his term as First Minister is over he will reveal himself as a doctrinaire and committed Muslim. He has to – before he meets his Allah. There is no successful Islamic democracy in the world. Pleasant for the sake of public relations, Yousaf will prove to be inherently dictatorial. Recep Erdogan was ostensibly a democrat in a secular nation but turned into the Muslim dictator of Turkiye. Yousaf has made progress in the freedoms deriving from this once Christian nation. He would not have got so far in any Islamic country.

What is it with the sycophantic Scottish media who form the worshipful company of admirers of Islam? Why are they so starry eyed? Why is there no critical investigative journalism about Islam? Why are they cowered and fearful? Why does Islam carry such a subconscious threat to the human psyche? Because of its otherness and its endemic hostility and violence. The Scottish media won’t touch anything analytical or comparative. This is the creed that kills and jails women in Iran for having a different hair style. This is the creed that prevents the education of young women in Afghanistan. This is the creed that kidnaps and rapes school girls in Nigeria. The Nation of Islam (the umma) is held to be one. The churches of the UK have never had the courage to distinguish Christianity from Islam.

Christianity will come again. It is based on the resurrection of Jesus. After that, nothing is impossible.

Robert Anderson 2017

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