Halal Haggis? – Sam Bradley

Most students walk past Edinburgh Central Mosque every day without really wondering what’s inside.This insightful event, hosted jointly by the department for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and the Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, allowed students an opportunity to learn more about the Islamic faith in Scotland and in the modern world.

After an exclusive tasting of some halal haggis (pretty good, though I say so without any pretence at expertise), students were given an interesting talk from Professor Hugh Goddard and Dr Timothy Peace on the history of Islamic integration in Scotland, and about the way Muslims have played a role in Scottish society.

Other subjects touched upon were the history of Scotland’s relationship with Islam – from Crusader knights and medieval scholars to Walter Scott – and the way Muslims have established faith centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Following the talk, we walked to Edinburgh Central Mosque, for a guided tour of the premises and an explanation of the role the mosque plays in the day-to-day lives of Muslims. The mosque itself is worth visiting for its architecture alone, though one could easily miss the important details of the interior without a guide. Students were also treated to an informative beginner’s introduction to the Islamic faith, a talk which complimented the experience excellently.

A valuable learning experience for anyone interested in the modern world, and modern Scotland.

Sam Bradley


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