Police, Fire & Court

Police investigate internet abuse after Koran read at St Mary’s Cathedral service

By Ian Marland at

A cathedral in the West End of Glasgow that hosted a recital of the Koran at a Christian service has received online abuse.

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral on Great Western Road said it had received a number of “offensive messages on Facebook and other platforms”.

Police Scotland said it is taking the reports seriously and is actively investigating the abuse.

The cathedral is located in a culturally-diverse part of the West End, with people of different faiths and backgrounds.

Earlier this week, the senior clergyman at the cathedral defended the use of the Koran during the service which took place over Christmas.

The cathedral had been criticised because the verses that were read contradict Christian teaching about Jesus.

The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth said the reading was part of efforts to build relationships between Christians and Muslims in Glasgow.

In a statement issued by the cathedral on Friday, the Very Rev Holdsworth said: “Over the Christmas season, we invited local Muslim friends into St Mary’s Cathedral to join us for the Feast of the Epiphany – we often get similar invitations to join them for their own festivals.

“In the course of our celebrations of the birth of the Saviour, we listened with interest to the story that Muslims tell of the annunciation of Jesus in the Qur’an.

“Such readings have happened a number of times in the past in this and in other churches and have led to deepening friendships locally, to greater awareness of the things we hold in common and to dialogue about the ways in which we differ.

“I have commented in the past on such readings and those comments are still available online http://thurible.net/2015/03/14/welcoming-muslims-into-church/

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of hate and encourages all communities to take action to ensure no-one feels threatened or marginalised.”