Everyday hate to fatal attacks

Safya Khan-Ruf - 21 02 20

Officials in Scotland have been told to “redouble” their efforts to tackle hatred, as it was revealed that Islamophobia is an everyday issue for a significant number of Muslims.

A public inquiry into Islamophobia in Scotland showed that more than a third of Muslims experience racism on a daily basis, while four out of five have faced racism in their lifetime.

The report notes, there is a fear that Muslim children and young people will grow up in a society that “increasingly marks them as outsiders and increasingly abuses them”.

Particular attention was drawn by respondents to the abuse that Muslim women are subjected to, especially when wearing a headscarf. Asked about the impact of the media on Islamophobia, almost 90 per cent said that newspapers make it worse while over 86 per cent said the same for TV and radio. 

The public inquiry into Islamophobia in Scotland was launched by the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on tackling Islamophobia. Research was gathered in conjunction with Newcastle University, with analyses provided by Professor Peter Hopkins.

An earlier YouGov survey carried out online in December 2019 showed that on the whole, Scottish attitudes are more open than other parts of the UK. Attitudes to Islam are also softer than in many other parts of the UK, yet it remains a significant problem. 35% of people across the UK think that Islam poses a threat to the British way of life, while 24% of scots think the same.

While 65% of Scots agree that discrimination is a serious problem for Muslims in Britain, a third (34%) of Scots believe that there are no go areas in Britain where sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter.


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