SCoJeC took part in two recent current affairs discussions at the Scotland Office, together with representatives of other faith communities in Scotland. In January Leah Granat, SCoJeC Public Affairs Officer, joined Archbishop Mario Conti, Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church of Scotland's Church & Society Council, and Shafi Kausar, General Secretary of Glasgow Central Mosque, to discuss the impact of the current economic crisis on Scotland's faith communities. Jim Murphy MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, admitted that "government can not do it all", adding that "there is no exclusively secular solution to the challenges we face, and the faith communities here in Scotland have an important role to play in helping the most vulnerable in our society."
The European Parliament elections were the subject of the second meeting which was attended by Rabbi Moshe Rubin, the senior rabbi in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, and David Lunan, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly. They expressed concern that a low voter turnout could allow extremist parties to win a greater share of the vote, which would give them a disproportionately large influence, and potentially damage community cohesion in Scotland. Many of the decisions that affect the daily lives of people in Scotland are made by the European Parliament in Brussels, and SCoJeC therefore joined the representatives of other faith communities in supporting a Scotland Office initiative urging people to vote in the election on June 4.
photos courtesy of Ditte Solgaard Photography & Paul McSherry