THE number of Scots who hold discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims has increased over the last three years following the terrorist attacks in London, new figures showed yesterday.
As increased immigration from around the world changes the social make-up of Scotland, the latest survey of attitudes showed the majority of people are willing to embrace different cultures.
But despite government campaigns to tackle racism, a hardcore of people continue to believe prejudice is acceptable. And while attitudes to gay people and women have improved, one in five people think civil partnerships are wrong and one in seven think a woman's place is in the home.
In particular, attitudes towards Muslims and ethnic minorities have deteriorated in recent years. Half of those surveyed considered the increasing number of Muslims in the country as a cultural threat and one in five feared ethnic minorities would take their jobs.
Equality groups said such attitudes are unacceptable in the 21st century and called for the "silent majority" to speak out against prejudice....
rof Curtice said the group that appears to have suffered the worse in recent years is Muslims.
He suggested this was because of the ongoing "war on terror" and the attacks on London in 2005.
In 2006, 50 per cent of people said that Scotland would begin to lose its identity if more Muslims came to live here compared to 38 per cent in 2003. Over the same period there was a four-point increase in the proportion who say they would be unhappy about a relative forming a relationship with a Muslim.
Dr Salah Baltagui, of the Muslim Council of Scotland and Scottish Interfaith Council, said prejudice remains a reality.
He said the way to address the problem was to tackle stereotypes and introduce more people to Muslims.
"This is happening and what we have to do is try to help people find out more about Muslims and break down the stereotypes," he said. [Link]
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