The Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF), a new group associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, has reported on a recent trip to Turkey where SIF leaders met with officials from the ruling AK Party. According to the announcement:
A Scottish-Islamic Foundation delegation has just returned from Turkey, where they were invited for high level meetings with officials in the country. The delegation included Chairman Ken Imrie, Public Affairs Director Humza Yousaf and Chief Executive Osama Saeed. They met with Parliamentarians and officials from the ruling AK party, and a senior journalist from one of the country’s leading newspapers. The trip comes in advance of the Islamic finance and trade expo that SIF are organising in Edinburgh in May next year, and which aims to bring investment into Scotland from the Muslim world. It recently emerged that the Scottish Government were considering visiting Qatar in order to explore opportunities. In August, the SIF arranged a meeting between Wadah Khanfar, the director general of Al-Jazeera – who are very close to the Qatari regime – and deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, with Khanfar at the time backing and pledging his support for engagement.
A number of previous posts have discussed the background of the SIF and its relationship with the Scottish government.
Responding to criticisms about dealing with some regimes in the Middle East, an SIF official stated:
We need to deal with as progressive elements as we can. What we need to be clear about though is that engagement does not equate to silence, and if something needs to be said, we should not hold back. We hold Scotland Week in the US every year, but it doesn’t stop us saying that the Iraq War and Guantanamo Bay is wrong. There obviously needs to be red lines where international sanctions are concerned, but where normal diplomatic relations exist, what we hope to do through creating and expanding trade links is also to have a cultural and political engagement. This will be to the enrichment of all.