In the Herald today:
‘HERE’S what anti-Muslim racism feels like in lovely, tolerant Scotland: “I feel scared for both me and my family. When my children were small we were so scared as we were constantly being abused due to being Muslim. I got depression, I even contemplated suicide due to a racist neighbour making our life hell.
Once more exploiting a single case to fake a wider crisis that is not there in any reliable evidence. Indeed, McQuillan’s sarcasm cannot hide the fact that things are different in Scotland. Here are a few:
First, see this extract from a Scottish Government research survey in 2011
‘In addition, Hussain and Miller (2004) argue that Muslims in Scotland are more likely to identify themselves as Scottish than Muslims in England are to identify as English (Hussain and Miller 2004, 2006). In their study, comparing experiences of Islamophobia and Anglophobia in Scotland, Hussain and Miller established that the Muslims interviewed found it very easy to identify with Scotland. They suggest this could be explained partly because their religious identity is seen as cultural and not territorial. This finding is supported by research conducted by Masud (2005) into the experiences of Muslims across Britain after the London bombings in 2005. In this research conducted across Scotland 27“it was widely acknowledged and appreciated that compared with other parts of the country, especially England, Scotland was a tolerant place” (Masud 2005).’
Second, remember the Glasgow Celtic, Green Brigade protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the crowdfunding which raised thousands to pay for sporting facilities in Palestine? People in the Arab world and Islamic people in England know about this.
Third, 100 000 people marched in Glasgow in 2003 against the Iraq war. Glasgow’s Islamic population saw this. The Herald newspaper exposed many of the atrocities committed by the Coalition there.
Fourth, 1.8% of the prison population in Scotland is Muslim. This is broadly in proportion to the 1.45% of Scottish population which is Muslim, and in significant contrast to the very large figure of 13% for Muslim prisoners in England and Wales.
Fifth, notably, although Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are still over-represented in more deprived areas of Scotland, they are less likely to be living in such areas in Scotland than they are in England.
Sixth, Muslims in Scotland are fast becoming a highly-educated population – currently exceeding the total population figure for ‘degree level and above’ education by 10 percentage points.
Seventh, almost 1 in 3 (31%) of the Muslim population is ‘economically active’ full-time – whether as an employee, or self-employed. For the population as-a-whole, the figure is 51%. It is notable that both of these percentages are higher than the corresponding figures for England and Wales which are 19.8% for Muslims and 34.9% for the overall population
Eighth, comparisons with the Muslim population in England and Wales suggest that Muslims in Scotland are somewhat socio-economically better off.
Ninth, ‘there are no radical preachers in Scottish mosques who are urging Muslims to commit violence abroad or at home.’
Tenth, in 2017, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, first took his oath of allegiance in English and then in Urdu in the Scottish Parliament.
Eleventh, see this:
‘Good community relations mean young Muslims in Scotland eschew extremism Unlike in England, there is mutual respect between the Scottish government, the Muslim communities and the police’