MSPs to address ‘abhorrent’ anti-Muslim campaign

Anas Sarwar will chair a meeting on tackling Islamophobia. Pic: John Devlin
Anas Sarwar will chair a meeting on tackling Islamophobia. Pic: John Devlin

Politicians will consider further action to tackle an “abhorrent” anti-Muslim campaign as a community representative said it has already triggered Islamophobic incidents in Scotland.

Police Scotland representatives will tell MSPs of action taken so for against social media and letter campaign urging people to “punish” a Muslim.

The officers will set out their response so far at a meeting with the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group (CPG) on tackling Islamophobia, chaired by Anas Sarwar.

A statement on behalf of Mr Sarwar said Glasgow’s ethnic minority communities have been alerted to give allegations of five serious hate crimes in the past 10 days.

These are said to include an allegation that a schoolboy asked a young girl if he could pull her hijab off and film it to earn “points” for the campaign - which assigns these for crimes against Muslims.

READ MORE: Anas Sarwar calls on Sturgeon to tackle “everyday racism”

Other alleged incidents in Glasgow include a woman allegedly being punched in the face outside a supermarket, and another woman allegedly racially abused by three men and assaulted on a train.

Mr Sarwar said: “The abhorrent ‘Punish a Muslim’ campaign is causing fear and alarm among communities across the UK, including in Scotland.

“It is a sick social media craze that has absolutely no place in our society.

“We will be discussing this issue and the police and community response at the CPG meeting to identify what additional action can be taken to reassure people.

“We have a duty to stand against racism and prejudice in all its forms.”

Muhammad Adrees, convener of the Muslim Council of Scotland, said: “The letters are a chilling reminder of the very real danger and hatred facing ordinary Muslims every day.

“Although there are no known recipients in Scotland, they have nonetheless caused considerable alarm and the community needs reassurance, especially since the letters have already triggered Islamophobic incidents here.”