The Scottish-Islamic Foundation (SIF), a relatively new organization tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, has announced that it is attempting to play a role in brokering a Gulf-based bid for a Scottish Bank. According to the announcement :
The Scottish-Islamic Foundation have today written to the Prime Minister and the Chairman of HBOS to ask whether the bank would be open to a potential Middle East bid. The organisation, which is organising an ‘Islamic trade and finance expo’ next year looking to bring more Muslim world investment into Scotland, has held discussions with senior officials in the Gulf. SIF claim however that while in principle there is openness to the idea of taking over HBOS, there is wariness of ‘stepping on toes’ in what has appeared to many internationally as a fait accompli with Lloyds TSB. Commenting, SIF’s Chief Executive Osama Saeed said: “There is widespread concern in Scotland about the impact the Lloyds TSB takeover could have on jobs and competition. “There does not however appear to be another bid on the table, hence I have had discussions with a number of key figures in the Middle East about possibly bidding for HBOS. The situation is being watched, but the responses I’ve received are that while there would be interest in principle, it appears very much that this would not be welcomed either by the banks, the government, or both. “I am sure that this is not the case and a merger of this kind with all that it would mean would be taken only as one of last resort. My concern is that opportunities are being missed and this is why I have written to both parties to clarify exactly what the situation is, and ask what approaches they’ve made in the Gulf in particular on this issue.”
Recent posts have discussed a recent trip to Turkey where SIF leaders met with officials from the ruling Turkish AK Party and its role in arranging a meeting between the director general of Al-Jazeera and a Scottish Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon regarding opening a bureau in Scotland. Other posts have discussed Scottish government support fort the SIF.
A U.K think-tank has reported on the global Muslim Brotherhood ties of the SIF. Confirming these ties, the SIF National Conference to be held on November 30 will include global Muslim Brotherhood figures Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the Brotherhood founder, and Ahmed Rehab of the U.S. Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization. Also attending will be Scottish Deputy First Minister Sturgeon.