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Scotland’s Islamic Tartan Goes Viral, Here is Why

The tartan represents the 5 pillars of Islam, the 6 articles of faith, Holy Kaaba and Scotland in its design

Twitter and Instagram have gone mad over a post a few days ago announcing that Scotland has created a tartan for its Muslim citizens, despite the fact that the information is 7 years late, The National reported.

“Scotland has officially created a tartan to honor its Muslim citizens,” Canadian human rights activist Laura Morlock wrote in her post.

In her post, she outlines the details of the tartan and what they signify.

“Blue: Scottish Flag, Green: Islam, 5 white lines: the 5 pillars of Islam, 6 gold lines: the 6 articles of faith, Black square: the Kaaba,” she wrote.

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While the post has rejuvenated interest in the tartan, it was announced in 2012, designed by Azeem Ibrahim, milled by DC Dalgliesh and registered as the “Scottish Islamic” tartan on the Scottish Register of Tartans.

On its website, it explains the design, writing, “The theological explanation of the design is as follows: blue represents the Scottish Flag; green represents the color of Islam; five white lines running through the pattern represent the five pillars of Islam; six gold lines represent the six articles of faith; the black square represents the Holy Kaaba.”

It also says, “The Scottish Islamic Tartan weaves together the different strands of Scottish and Muslim heritage creating a fabric for the future.”

Though the post recieved some negative opinions, the reaction to the interest in the tartan has been positive.

“I had no idea there was an Islamic tartan! Interesting to know, and given that now more than ever we need to embrace Scotland’s multiculturalism as one of the pillars of our great country. Together we learn from each other, and grow to become better people for it,” one tweeted.

Humza Yousaf, who appeared in the original shoot with Ibrahim and is now Scotland’s Justice Minister, reacted to Morlock’s tweet, writing, “Oh man, this was around seven years ago, modeling (and I use that word [very] loosely) the Scottish Islamic tartan. An importantly symbolic initiative that brought together the various strands of our multifaceted identities as Scots, Muslims, etc.”

Tartan is a pattern consisting of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns.

Most Muslims in Scotland are members of families that migrated in the latter decades of the 20th century. According to the 2011 census, Muslims population is around 76,737 persons, almost 1.4% of Scotland’s population.

The first Muslim known to have been in Scotland was an Indian medical student who studied at the University of Edinburgh from 1858 to 1859.

Muslims in Scotland are an ethnically diverse population. Although a majority of Muslims are of Pakistani (58%) origin, 16.8% are Africans and Middle Eastern, while 7.8% are White Europeans.

Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, has the highest Muslim population in the northwestern European country with 5% according to the 2011 census. Though, Pollokshields and Southside Central are the wards with the highest concentration of Muslim residents – 27.8% and 15.7% respectively.