Marshall: Understanding Glasgow's Psyche
London, UK - 11 July 2007, 08:48 GMT - We are grateful to Elizabeth
Marshall, born in Glasgow, Scotland, for "Understanding Glasgow's
Psyche;" Dr Deepak Chopra, based in California and New York, USA,
for "Case of the Evil Doctors: Changing Perception;"
Aurora Carlson, based on the West Coast, Sweden for "The Other and
Me;" Michael Ward, based in Mumbai, India, for "Remembering
7th July 05, London, and 11th July 06, Mumbai -- The Far Pavilions of a
shared Imperial Past & Present;" Prof Jean Pierre Lehmann,
Founder Director, Evian Group, based at IMD Lausanne, Switzerland, for "Crossing
the Chasm: Evolution Towards a Liberal Society;" HE Basil Eastwood,
former British Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein and Syria,
for "Role of Islam in Politics"
and Florian Lennert, Director, Corporate Relations, LSE, from Kigali, Rwanda,
for "Avoiding Human Catastrophe"
in response to The Lord Desai of St Clement Danes, based at the Palace of
Westminster, London, for his submission to ATCA, "The
Roots of Terror: Islam or Islamism? Distinguishing between Religion and
Dear ATCA Colleagues
[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors
are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral.
ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and
Elizabeth Marshall is a Fellow of The Energy Institute in London and Member
of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Energy convened by United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe (UNECE), based in Geneva, Switzerland, since 1992.
Elizabeth is a former director of the British Institute of Energy Economics
and a member of The Windsor Energy Group of which The Lord Howell, a long
standing ATCA contributor, is Chairman. She is based in the extreme North
of the United Kingdom in Wick, Caithness, and is a member of the Institute
of Directors in London and The Reform Club. She writes:
Dear DK and Colleagues
Re: Understanding Glasgow's Psyche
Whilst I accept the basis of the views of Dr Chopra and Aurora Carlson
that every man is my brother, coming as I do from the land of Robert Burns
and 'A man is a man for a' that', I also happen to have been born in Glasgow.
I therefore entirely expected that my fellow citizens would race to the
assistance of the police and help arrest the two suicide bombers at Glasgow
airport who were attacking them in what was a violent struggle, even to
the extent that one of the citizen helpers was himself injured, sustaining
a broken leg and two broken teeth.
Glasgow is not generally a place of bystanders and people were naturally
outraged when they saw an attempt to inflict firebombing and murder on
their airport where excited children and their parents were queuing for
flights on the first day of school summer holidays.
Glasgow has traditionally been a recruiting ground for the SAS and paratroop
regiments of the British army as it has had a rather robust street-fighting
culture which tends to disregard personal safety when roused.
Having said all that, one has to admit that there is doubtless what might
be seen as a certain level of ignorance and prejudice in Glasgow. This
is regrettable when some of Glasgow's finer sons and daughters have made
no small contribution to western civilisation and culture including presenting
originality of thought and inventions in economics, mathematics, science,
engineering, philosophy and medicine.
The Glasgow man in the street could be described as lacking in sophistication
in that he tends not to discern the difference between those who follow
the ways of Islam and those who perpetrate atrocities in the name of Islam.
He is not into understanding the power struggles within Islam and the
rationale behind Al-Qaeda and the radicals who want to take leadership
within the Islamic world. In Glasgow street parlance, such a situation
would simply not be understood. The ordinary Glasgow man in the street,
if he happened to be a follower of Islam and was challenged by another
wanting to take control and commit atrocities in the name of his religion,
would not sit back and let this happen. He would attack him and have him
kicked out of the Islamic society.
I would therefore argue that what we are seeing in Glasgow now where followers
of Islam have been attacked since the airport outrage is not simply racialism,
it represents a profound difference in culture and in understanding. In
effect, in the eyes of the Glasgow man in the street, if one is part of
Islamic society and condones murderous outrage and suicide bombings carried
out in the name of Islam because one does not 'sort it out' and expose
and outlaw the perpetrators, then one must be part of it.
I trust this clarifies the understanding from the other side.
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency
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