Monthly Archives: May 2013

Deepest condolences on the loss of loved ones R.I.P. Lee Rigby

As a Muslim woman, who is a wife, and mother, the loss of life irrespective of geography, ethnicity, religion is always sad in passing, even more so when it is lost tragically in illegal wars or  when simply crossing the road, minding your own business. I despair at the motives of those that carry out such atrocities, be they individuals or governments.

We live in an age where there should be a more humanitarian society – it is the basic message of every religion out there. There is no lack of information, the contrary I would say.

When people label themselves or are labelled by society or media as radicals or fundamentalists, it is very hard on the rest of that community who share the same religion to be labelled by association. It gives those that need a reason to justify why we should not be here to incite racial and religious hatred and parties such as UKIP and EDL/SDL to grow in membership.

My religion is a beautiful one, based on peace. I cannot understand or condone a version which has been contorted out of context to justify murder. How could you ever justify murder irrespective of any label, any context. What is wrong is wrong.

As a peace loving citizen in Scotland, I have always abhorred violence of any nature whether it be mental, emotional or physical. It is not acceptable in my religion or how I chose to live my life.

My deepest condolences to the Rigby family and friends for losing their son in such a horrendous and tragic way.

My even deeper condolences to those that die through illegal wars on a daily basis and have no one to highlight how they died. They are nothing but a statistic. They will not have media coverage, no one will even know their name.

These are the personal views of Nighet Nasim Riaz

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The end of a political union is ALL we are asking for.

The ongoing use of fear tactics by the Better Together campaign is beginning nnr3to worry me in terms of being from an ethnic background by its continuing use of the race card. A party that I once thought of as leaders in policy based on integration and inclusion of all members of society. How low they have fallen.

Margaret Curran’s stint on GMS this morning has emphasised and exacerbated the route that they have chosen – with a strategy based on fear and ignorance. They don’t even have the decency to share the correct information,which is out dated and based on myths rather than fact.Causing disquiet amongst communities, cultures and different faiths. Give the people of Scotland, especially those that wish to make an educated choice the correct information, engage in dignified conversations and debate rather than point scoring. Give the people of Scotland the respect they deserve. And please- don’t patronise us with the line that you don’t think Scotland is not too poor, too wee or too stupid to be independent and then use every other statement to prove that is exactly how the Better Together campaign see us. The shame of it is that Labour is now a bedfellow with the Conservatives and instead of looking at what is best for the people of Scotland is more interested in what is better for them and the salaries they may have to forgo once independence is won.

Nighet Nasim Riaz

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Scots Asians For Independence Event

A very successful fundraising event took place at the Kabana Function Suite, Seaward Street, Glasgow on Sunday evening. We had safyexcellent speakers and great food. It was organised by Mr Majid, the convenor of Scots Asians For Independence in conjunction with Yes Scotland.

There were over 300 guests from all over Scotland who came together to hear how important it was that we all engage in open discussions on how independence can benefit us on every level of society, from families, communities, businesses, education, healthcare and welfare.

People from Africa, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Eastern Europe, Iraq, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, from all religious backgrounds and none came together to listen to Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Denis Canavan, Tasmina Sheikh and Humza Yousaf.
humzatasWe had a film crew from the European channel ARTE who filmed the event and loved the vibe of having so many different communities and cultures under one roof, all discussing the one subject – independence. When the film team arrived in Scotland 2 weeks earlier they had been sceptical but they spend the time talking to people on both sides of the debate and in the end they left convinced that for Scotland to be independent was the only choice to allow our country to succeed and flourish. 

Picture of Minister for International Development and External Affairs with Yes Advisory Board member and SNP European candidate Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh.

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I believe it’s time to take Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands so that we can build a Nation which works for all of us-Tasmina Sheikh

I believe it’s time to take Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands so that we can build a Nation which works for all of usts
I want women to be front and centre in this debate.  And I want to play my part in persuading other women that not only is an independent Scotland possible, it’s the best and only opportunity we have to realise our hopes and our dreams for our families and our country.
A country where we value investment in people and investment in society.
A country that reaches out to young people, who are interested in the dreams of the future, not the memories of the past
A country where there is provision for the most vulnerable in society.
I believe my four children and your children and grandchildren, will have a better life, and enjoy a better and more equal society, in an independent Scotland, caring for each other and their fellow citizens.
That is a Scotland I want to live in, and my children to grow up in
Let’s work together, to make it happen.


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Scotland has the right to steer its own destiny under its own command – Councillor Shab Jaffri

The Scots are the inheritors of a deep and long history through which they have formed a rich culture and heritage that they are cllrshabjaffri1immensely proud of. Their forefathers protected and guarded their nation vehemently against many an adversity. They fought with their life and blood to keep this great and Bonny nation a free and an independent country.

Based on a strong foundation of its past Scotland has evolved dramatically over the centuries to become a leading nation with numerous achievements under its belt.

However, it is no longer a free nation. It has not been for over 300 years. This is what is missing from its ultimate evolution of becoming a world class nation amongst the nations of this world.

Given its rich history and proud culture, its resources and its vast potential it has the right to self-determination. It has the right to steer its own destiny with its own hands.

Born in Karachi, I am of Pakistani origin. I have lived in Scotland with my family for 43 years. This great land became my home very quickly after I arrived. Living in Glasgow as a Glaswegian has shown me wonderful experiences, shaped my character and enabled me to live my life to the full.

I did not feel I was alienated because of my background, colour or faith. I wasn’t treated unfairly.

I have kept my background, my roots and my origin, I am bilingual, and my religion is still the same as the day I came here.  Instead of losing anything I gained a whole new way of life, a bonus that compliments the other, a new language, a new history and a new culture. All of which I am so immensely proud of. This composition of not losing anything but instead gaining more is to me being Scottish.

I feel I am just as Scottish as the man who was born here (if not more). This feeling of belonging, being Scottish instils in me a sense of patriotic duty, a degree of loyalty, responsibility and caring like that of a son nurtured by his mother. To me Scotland is my mother land. I only want what is good for her. I may not have any ancestors who fought for Scotland in its gory struggles of the bygone centuries but I have nonetheless made my mark on it with enough of my blood and sweat to call it my country.

The independence that Scotland is seeking today is about financial independence. It’s about having the right to raise its own taxes and spend them on providing the top quality public services that the Scots so desperately need. It’s about deciding ourselves how we should play our role and responsibility on the international stage. It’s about not marching our troops into illegal wars and occupations. It’s about making all of our own decisions in our Parliament. It’s about doing away with a disenchanted and distance out of touch powerhouse such as Westminster. It’s about creating an equal society.

As a Pakistani Scot I believe I will benefit immensely from staying in an Independent Scotland. In fact I can’t wait to Vote Yes next year.

I would urge you to do the same.


Cllr Shabbar Jaffri


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17 year old Elysee Sheikh on why Independence matters

‘’My name is Elysee Ahmed-Sheikh. I am 17 years old, was born in Glasgow, and have lived here all my life with my little brother and two elyseesheikh little sisters.
I am a sixth year school pupil, hoping to study medicine in Scotland.

I’m voting Yes because I have grown up witnessing the benefits to my country, of having powers in Edinburgh,  to make decisions best suited to the specific needs and aspirations of us young Scots. As a prospective medic, I know that health and social needs in Scotland are unique and I believe, these needs are best addressed when we have the full set of powers necessary to legislate for our future. Becoming independent best reflects my ambitions for Scotland, as a young woman. As I embark upon entering a caring profession, I feel safe in the knowledge that a government in an independent Scotland, will puts its people first and embrace universalism. Health care must be free at the point of need. Always. This is only safe in our own hands ”



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A #YesGain for YesScotland at the CAMASS event

I was delighted to be asked to take part in the 10 year celebrations of CAMASS and to be asked to speak at their event. They showed nnr3outstanding hospitality to us as their guests throughout the evening.

Sitting in a debate for the first time ever as a panellist representing Yes Scotland, Women for Independence and Scots Asians for Yes was an interesting experience. I was joined by Chris Glendenning who was an excellent speaker and a representation for Yes Youth and Students.

The better together campaign representatives were ex MP Maria Fyffe and Labour Councillor Martin Elloray.

I had been asked to speak about Independence and the role we as ethnic minorities can play in this debate.  We all spoke well and passionately for and against independence and we were delighted to have won the debate, due mainly to the very capable young man Chris and I working as a team. Overall it was a very pleasant evening

The ex -MP Maria Fyffe bought with her a female guest. The female guest  made a statement about the Yes Scotland campaign and the SNP being European style nationalists and insidiously inferred that we were racists and that the audience members would have no one to blame but themselves if an independent Scotland went down the route of other USSR breakaway states, in how they treated incomers.

Let me assure you that we rebutted and corrected her confidently and quickly with the support of the chair and the audience. Is it acceptable to bring along guests that would create fear and panic in a support group of an ethnic minority group, where many of its members had gone through much adversity to enter the UK? To someone like me, it was outrageous that someone as experienced as an member of Parliament would bring along a guest that would stoop to such a low level. The better together campaign is based on FEAR and fear alone. They have NOTHING new to offer. There is no vision, just more of the same bleakness of an English United Kingdom disintegrated day by day and lurching further to the right, where Scotland moves further to the left and is based purely on its basis for a fair and socially just society for all the residents that live in Scotland, irrespective of where they come from.

I would have more respect if the information that is shared to the public is transparent and evidence based rather than the political posturing I was witness to by the Labour/Tory coalition under the umbrella of #bettertogether  that evening.

The icing on the cake that evening was that we -Yes Scotland won the debate , which showed that a well balanced argument based on common sense and respect for the audience was vital to get across a consistent message and vision – that change does not have to be scary, not if we all support each other along the journey and add to the debate that enriches it rather than sours the taste.

Nighet Riaz

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