The issue of Islamophobia in Scotland, prompted the Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Tackling Islamophobia to organise an inquiry, which resulted in this report, published in September 2021. Through an online survey and submissions of written evidence, the inquiry asked individuals and organisations about the nature and extent of Islamophobia in Scotland, the role of the media, the impact on children, young people and families and what steps could be taken to challenge and overcome Islamophobia. The Muslim population in Scotland increased from 42,557 in 2001 to 76,737 in 2011, representing an 80% increase over 10 years. Of all Muslims in Scotland, 71% consider their only national identity to be Scottish or British (or any combination of UK identities). Scottish Muslims are an ethnically diverse population – and increasingly so. While the majority of Scottish Muslims are of South Asian ethnic heritage (65%), the proportion is decreasing over time as more are identifying as Black African. Research found that Islamophobia is affecting young Muslims in Scotland in contradictory ways, with some being motivated to become more politically active while others feel pushed away from participating in public life. The report makes recommendations on various aspects of Islamophobia and how it should be tackled. Three of the recommendations are that:
- The Scottish government should promote the positive contributions of Muslim politicians and leaders;
- all political parties in Scotland, at all levels, should adopt a ‘no tolerance’ approach to Islamophobia;
- The Scottish Government should fund and support organisations and initiatives that promote social cohesion and integration, particularly for Muslim women.