Letters: Hearts fans suffer as Rangers reach new low

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I was disgusted to see the pictures of so-called Rangers fans outside Ibrox on Friday night.

Pictures on Sky Sports showed fans trying to storm the front entrance, throwing missiles at police, who seemed hopelessly outnumbered.

It appears some fans managed to get into the building and assaulted staff members.

Meanwhile, inside Ibrox, Hearts fans must have thought they were at the Alamo, with coins, lighters, cups of tea, coffee, spit and probably urine being hurtled at them from both sides and from above.

With only around 20,000 fans inside the stadium, I would have thought better segregation of fans could have been achieved.

After the game was abandoned (quite rightly) both sets of fans were allowed to leave the ground at the same time. Another blunder.

Hearts fans found themselves ambushed, attacked and supporters buses stoned.

So much for Glasgow’s claim to being a friendly city. Rangers fans have dragged the club name through the dirt again.

I dread to think what will happen when the game is eventually replayed.May I suggest it is played in an empty stadium, and give the match to Sky, as the BT coverage was embarrassing.

I hope future games at Ibrox are better controlled with far more police and stewards employed.

People want to watch football in a safe environment and that certainly didn’t happen on Friday.

One can only hope for the best when Rangers play Celtic next month.

All police leave cancelled?

Alun Thomas, Sinclair Close, Edinburgh

Church has no special say on Sunday parking

Edinburgh City Council has been very fair in saying that concessions to the Christian campaign against proposed Sunday parking charges would be a precedent for other religions or indeed any minority interest groups to demand similar allowances for their special day (News, January 14).

Possibly in an attempt to broaden the argument, Pastor Paul Rees has said “There is a different character to Sunday” and “It shouldn’t be treated as just another day in the week”.

However, any sense that he might have been trying to defend everyone’s Sunday is betrayed by Rev Ian Gilmour who could agree to “partial restrictions-charging for afternoon parking for example, but Sunday mornings should be free” ie when church-goers’ interests have been served.

I entirely support the churches’ right to campaign within the law and without religious privilege but deputy transport convener councillor Adam McVey is right when he says “No religion has a hierarchy in terms of making representations and the effect that has on our policy making”.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive

Building plans need government oversight

To learn that various housing planning applications are being called in by the Scottish Government is highly positive.

Edinburgh and the Lothians is expected to deliver an extra 30,000 homes but building starts are being delayed by local objections. We all understand where objectors are coming from. We also understand that local councillors and MSPs wish to side with or protect their constituents, but too frequently, more as a means of garnering short-term votes rather than viewing the bigger picture.

So, now we have a minister able to cast a dispassionate view over the applications and come to a decision based on what the region and the country really need. Let us respect that.

Graham Davidson, High Street, Edinburgh

Willie is mistaken over Scots support for EU

It was with some bemusement that I noted Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie claim in a speech to the David Hume Institute that there is as much anti-EU feeling in Scotland as there is in the rest of the UK.

This is, of course, in conflict with both European Parliament election results as well as opinion polling on EU membership.

In the European Parliament elections last year Ukip topped the polls across the UK, with just under 28 per cent of the vote. In Scotland that party achieved a little over ten per cent of the vote and came fourth.

Opinion polling has also consistently shown staunch support for UK withdrawal from the EU, while a majority in Scotland want to remain in.

The danger posed by the proposed Tory referendum on EU membership in 2017 is that a majority in the UK vote to withdraw, while a majority in Scotland vote to remain in.

This is an issue of such fundamental constitutional importance that another independence referendum will clearly be on the cards.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Muslims right to speak out on Paris massacre

After the carnage of Paris, Dr Taj Hargey, who is director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, points out that like all Islamic fanatics, the Charlie Hebdo murderers loathe the liberal values of societies and freedom of speech.

Driven by their wilfully perverted misinterpretation of their Muslim faith, they want authoritarian rule across Western Europe, complete with dogmatic oppression and Sharia courts.

Dr Hargey points out that nowhere does the Koran sanction murder in the name of defending the Prophet’s reputation and that the murderers took it upon themselves to act as judge, jury and executioners. In doing so they betrayed Islam.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr Hargey and it is to be hoped that more Muslim leaders will expose those who preach violence and deride the apologists who blamed those murdered in Paris of being “provocative”.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow