The Scottish government has given £215,000 to the “Scottish Islamic Foundation”, a new group set up by Osama Saeed, a former spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), the British wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Scotland On Sunday reported yesterday that the group has received £200,000 to hold “Islamfest”, an Islamic event in Glasgow, along with an additional £10,152 for computers and office equipment and £5,600 for administration and training.
However, the newspaper also reported that the grant “has infuriated senior members of the Muslim community”, including members of larger and longer-established Islamic organisations.
Several said that Saeed’s group had little influence in the Muslim community. Adil Bhatti, said: “The people from the Muslim community, they do not know about this organisation. It is not supported by the majority.”
On the launch of Saeed’s group by Alex Salmond last month, Amanullah de Sondy, a lecturer in Divinity at Glasgow University, also wrote on his blog that the group “will further [reinforce] isolationist approaches to education and hamper attempts at building bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims. I have nothing against the SIF… but they are not representative of a ‘Muslim community’.”
Significantly, Osama Saeed spent the weekend not in Scotland but in London, speaking at IslamExpo, an event dominated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and members of the Muslim Association of Britain, for whom Saeed was formerly a spokesman.
During IslamExpo, whose events were attended and recorded by CSC staff, he was frequently seen conferring with Anas al-Tikriti, the main organiser of the event who is another former member of the Muslim Association of Britain.
A CSC briefing on the links between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Scottish Islamic Foundation is available here.