Yesterday's appalling terrorist attack on a site that is emblematic of both Britain and democracy, and is one of the best protected places in the country, sadly reminds us all that nothing and nowhere can ever be absolutely safe and secure. The victims were people going about their daily business, tourists whose only sin was to visit this iconic site, and those we rely on to protect us, and our thoughts are with them and their families.
At the same time, we have to remind ourselves that the aim of terrorism is to disrupt ordinary life, so that the best way to demonstrate that they have failed is for normal life to carry on. There is no current intelligence to suggest that the Jewish Community is at any greater risk today than it has been, and we therefore echo the Chief Constable's advice that we should remain alert but not alarmed. We urge the community to take sensible precautions, and to report anything suspicious to the police, and also to either SCoJeC or the CST.
As one of the founders of the Scottish Inter-Faith Council (now Interfaith Scotland), and strong allies of Bemis, the umbrella organisation for ethnic and cultural minorities in Scotland, we also reiterate our solidarity with other minority communities who are unfortunately likely to suffer a backlash from this incident. No community should be defined by its extremists, and we will continue to work with other faith and ethnic communities in Scotland, with the Scottish Government, and with Police Scotland, to ensure that Scotland remains a safe and welcoming place for all the threads that make up its engaging tartan.