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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-08278: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 21 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-00690 by Angela Constance on 23 February 2017 (Official Report, c. 2), what steps it is taking to ensure that Islamophobia is not a barrier to young Muslims participating in politics and society.

Answered by: Angela Constance 13 April 2017

We are committed to tackling Islamophobia in all its forms, and we recognise the importance of ensuring that young Muslims are able to participate fully in society at all levels. We will continue to tackle hate crime, encourage people to report it, and challenge prejudice and intolerance wherever it exists. Our vibrant and multi-faceted minority communities make a significant contribution to our national life – we will ensure that continues to be recognised and celebrated.

We are supporting a programme of work through a coalition of equality organisations to increase representation of women, disabled people, and those from Black Minority Ethnic communities and faith groups – as well as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex communities - in politics.

Young Scot is working with the Scottish Government’s Race Equality Team, through a co-design model for race equality in Scotland of young people from minority ethnic backgrounds and communities in realising the vision and ambition of the Race Equality Framework. To advance race equality, tackling racism and addressing the barriers that prevent people from minority ethnic communities from realising their potential.

We have provided over £300,000 of funding to Show Racism the Red Card, Amina and Interfaith Scotland from the Equality Budget during 2016-17 to help promote equality and address discrimination. Of this funding Amina has been delivering workshops in secondary Schools since 2012 to tackle Islamophobia and raise awareness of Islam.

On World Interfaith Harmony Day - 7 February 2017, Interfaith Scotland and St. Ninians School collaborated on an Interfaith event to encourage harmony between all regardless of faith. This was attended by over 200 young people attended from 6 schools.

Show Racism the Red Card has a project Tackling Contemporary Racism delivers a transformative educational programme to young people across Scotland to educate against formation of racist attitudes including Islamophobia.