Australian media is reporting a Scottish parliamentary Cross-Party Group has published an inquiry into the nature and extent of Islamophobia in Scotland, demanding far-reaching political action to mitigate its alleged effects. According to an article by The Conversation detailing the inquiry’s findings:
July 21, 2021 The report highlights that Muslim women are most likely to suffer from discrimination. The majority of respondents believe that Islamophobia is getting worse in Scotland, with Glasgow showing the highest levels. Mainstream print and broadcast media were seen to promote Islamophobia by the majority of the study’s respondents. Social media was also cited as an arena where Islamophobic attitudes are circulated in Scotland. However, Islamophobia in Scotland is most often experienced on the street in the form of verbal abuse.
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A list of 45 policy recommendations in the report includes working to increase public funding of research and projects that adopt an intersectional approach to Islamophobia and to withdraw anti-terrorism legislation such as the “Prevent” strategy, often a target of UK Muslim Brotherhood groups. The report further recommends local authorities, police officers, teachers, and journalists regularly engage in training about Islamophobia using media guidelines, including those produced by the report’s authors. The coalition also demands the Scottish Government work towards adopting a formal definition of Islamophobia, reviewing all legislation relevant to the issue, and requiring all educational institutions to establish spaces for “prayer and reflection.“
The original document was published in late June 2021 by the Scottish Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia (CPGTI), an informal coalition of members of the Scottish Parliament and other individuals and interest groups working on the issues of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. Cross-Party Groups cannot formally raise issues in Parliament and do not receive financial or staffing support, but their members must follow the rules in the Parliament’s Code of Conduct. Since its founding in 2018, the CPGTI has been chaired by recently-elected Scottish Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar.
The CPGTI’s 45 current member organizations include groups that are known to have ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in the United Kingdom and an NGO supportive of the Iranian regime:
- Muslim Council of Scotland, which was listed as an affiliate of the MCB and where MCB Secretary-General Zara Mohammed acts as Head of Media & Communications.
- Islamic Human Rights Commission, a UK-based NGO that has been central to organizing the events of the International Quds Day, an event historically characterized by anti-Semitism.
The inquiry also used written submissions by CAGE, a UK Islamic advocacy group tied to the British Muslim Brotherhood and whose senior leaders have advocated supporting violent jihad overseas. Another contributor to the report was Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), a UK Islamic NGO close to the UK MB.
In March 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that a Belgian NGO with close ties to the GMB had launched an EU-funded report on such counter-terrorism policies, demanding the EU refrain from using “vague and general labels” such as Jihadism, Islamism, and political Islam, arguing that their analytical value was outweighed by their stigmatizing impact. Reporting by the GIOR on the GMB and British/European politics has also included:
- A May 2021 report that a European Muslim Brotherhood youth group Eid reception included high-level European officials.
- A May 2021 report that Irish and Israeli MPs were part of an “Israeli Apartheid” roundtable by UK Muslim Brotherhood groups.
- A July 2021 report that a British Conservative MP joined former Morsi Administration officials at a Global Muslim Brotherhood conference on Egypt.
- A July 2021 report that a Muslim Brotherhood youth group called on the European Court Of Justice to revise a judgment allowing ban of religious symbols in workplaces.
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