Public inquiry in Scotland into Islamophobia launched


GLASGOW: The first ever public inquiry into Islamophobia has been launched in Scotland. Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Tackling Islamophobia, in conjunction with Newcastle University, is seeking written responses from individuals, employers and organisations about experiences and consequences of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

The CPG is also seeking views about what steps should be taken to tackle Islamophobia in Scotland, and the written responses will be followed by verbal evidence sessions and outreach across the country.

Earlier this year, Scotland’s main political parties agreed to adopt a formal working definition of Islamophobia in a landmark bid to tackle prejudice.

Anas Sarwar MSP, chair of the CPG on Tackling Islamophobia, said, “I am delighted that the CPG is launching the first ever public inquiry into Islamophobia in Scotland. “We have established that Scotland is not immune from Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

“We now want to gather evidence on the nature and extent of Islamophobia and identify the steps that should be taken to challenge and overcome hatred and prejudice, working with the Scottish Government and politicians, public bodies, and the media. The fight against hate is a fight for all of us; and working together we can build a Scotland free of Islamophobia and all forms of prejudice.”

Professor Peter Hopkins of Newcastle University, who has been researching issues of racism and Islamophobia in Scotland for nearly 20 years, said: “Everyday racism and Islamophobia are significant issues for Scottish society.

“I am delighted to be working with Anas Sarwar and the CPG on Tackling Islamophobia in order to undertake the first ever public inquiry about Islamophobia in Scotland. “We will be working carefully to collate written and verbal evidence about the nature and extent of Islamophobia in Scotland. One focus will be on solutions for challenging and overcoming Islamophobia.”