Scotland should be proud to welcome refugees in spite of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland has said.
Rev David Robertson described critics attempting to stop those fleeing the terror of ISIS finding refuge in Scotland as “conspiracy theorists”.
Blogging in the aftermath of last week’s atrocities, the Free Church Moderator also said it was “simplistic” for people to blame Muslims for the massacre in France, however he criticised politicians for saying that Islam “is a religion of peace”.
Rev David Robertson wrote: “The conspiracy theorists are having a field day. They tell us that ISIS are invading Europe with swarms of refugees.
“Of course there will be some who intend to cause harm who come under the guise of refugees, but there are many more who are fleeing ISIS and the terror.
“Can we not welcome them? Especially those of us who are Christians.
“Muslims are humans too, made in the image of God and needing the good news of Jesus as much as anyone else.
“Instead of being afraid can we not rejoice that the Lord has brought Mohammed to the mountain?
“And who knows but that in the providence of God, as Western liberal society rejects its own foundations, Muslims might be used to help us reconsider what we are throwing away.”
Mr Robertson continued: “There are many factors involved in these attacks, of which Islam is only one.
“The majority of Muslims deplore the violence, not least because many are themselves the victims of such terrorism.
“Playing the Islamaphobia card ironically only plays into the hands of the extremists.”
But the Dundee minister criticised politicians and media reporters for describing Islam as “peaceful”, which showed their ignorance of Islamic theology and history.
Rev David Robertson added: “Islam does not mean peace. It means submission.
“And if you don't submit to the will of Allah as expressed by Mohammed in the Koran, then there is no hope for you.
“Islam is also not just a religion, it is a political system. There is no church/state divide in Islam.
“I just simply ask if Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance, can you name one Islamic state where people are free to leave Islam and join another religion?
“Maybe people should read the Koran or study the life of Mohammed, and contrast it with Christ, before they use the ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ line.”
He concluded by saying a more Christian response would be prayer, to calm down and think before speaking, to welcome and serve Muslims who come to Scotland, and to get to know the Christian faith better – because it was better to look to Jesus’ teachings rather than live on human prejudice, preconceptions and fear.