Islamophobia is an everyday issue for more than a third of Muslims in Scotland, according to new research.
Holyrood’s cross-party group on Islamophobia found more than 80% of Muslims had been subjected to abuse because of their faith at some stage.
The research found some have resorted to dressing differently, changing their accents and avoiding city centre streets, public transport and swimming pools in a bid to escape abuse. Others said they have even changed their name to sound “less Muslim”.
Muslims reported they fear being branded a “terrorist” or “extremist”, while females are particularly concerned they could have their hijab pulled off in public.
Anas Sarwar, chairman of the cross-party group on Islamophobia, said the early findings from the research – which was carried out together with Newcastle University – made for “sobering reading”.
The Glasgow MSP said while Scots “pride ourselves on being a welcome and tolerant country” the report “demonstrates how much more work we have to do”.
A total of 435 people took part in the research, including 344 who described themselves as being Muslim.
Of those Muslim respondents, 35.5% said they face abuse because of their faith every day, while 41.3% said they had to deal with such incidents “regularly”.
Overall, 83.4% of Muslim respondents said they had experienced Islamophobia – with 78.8% saying they believed the problem was getting worse in Scotland. (The National)