Don’t let Paris terror attacks enable racism in Scotland

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Protestors marched against racism in Paris less than a month ago. Now their call is being echoed in Scotland as problems arise in response to recent terrorist attacks in the French capital.

Campaigners argue there is more intolerance in Scotland than many of us would like to believe

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18th November 2015 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Equality campaigners have spoken out against a spate of racists incidents in Scotland following the Paris terrorist attacks last week.

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) has urged Scots to welcome refugees, condemn racism and build an anti-racist Scotland.

The move follows a series of on and offline racist incidents in Scotland over the last week, and a call from Police Scotland for people to report hate crimes.

In reality, we may not be the tolerant country many think we are, and continued and enhanced efforts need to be made by all if we are to truly build an anti-racist Scotland

Jatin Haria, executive director, of CRER, told TFN: “CRER stands with the rest of humanity in condemning the terrorist actions in Paris last weekend. ISIS’s central view is of a world where communities cannot live together with Muslims, a view that is proved wrong every second by ordinary daily life in Scotland.

“But ours is also a society where racism is still all too prevalent, and recent actions by some have shown how quickly it can re-surface. In reality, we may not be the tolerant country many think we are, and continued and enhanced efforts need to be made by all if we are to truly build an anti-racist Scotland.”

Last Sunday Mohammed Khalid and his wife, who run Methil takeaway Caspian Fast Food, were attacked by 15 men who reportedly cited the Paris terrorist incidents. Mr Khalid was seriously injured in the incident and required hospital treatment while his wife also experience minor injuries.

On Tuesday a mosque in Bishopbriggs was deliberately set fire to in the middle of the night.

Scottish international development minister Humza Yousaf has also reported a torrent of online racist abuse to police.

Police Scotland’s deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone said: "Police Scotland has investigated instances of crime since the events in Paris on Friday that have been motivated by religious hatred.

"These crimes have been both online and in public. Arrests have been made.

"Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of hate crime and I urge everyone across the country to continue working together to ensure that no one feels threatened or marginalised.

"If you have witnessed or been the victim of a hate crime, please tell us about this. You can contact Police Scotland by calling 101.

"However, in an emergency always dial 999 when a life is in danger, a crime is in progress or a suspect is nearby."

A total of 129 people lost their lives and more than 350 were injured after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday. Extremist group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.