The Right Honorable Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, welcomed Professor Akbar Ahmed and his team to his office in the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh. Professor Ahmed has a long friendship with the First Minister dating back to his support of Professor Ahmed’s feature film on the founder of Pakistan, Jinnah, starring Sir Christopher Lee, in the 1990s.
The First Minister, leader of the Scottish National Party, is the senior most politician in Scotland and is currently in the run-up to a referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom scheduled for September 2014 which he and his party are strongly supporting.
During the interview, the First Minister discussed Scottish identity, the position of the First Minister, and the important role of the Muslim community in Scotland. The First Minister voiced his support for Journey into Europe and presented Professor Ahmed with a tartan tie. Also present in the meeting were the First Minister’s External Affairs Minister, Humza Yousaf, and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a recent SNP candidate for European Parliament.