The Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia, set up by Muslim MSP Anas Sarwar in 2018 has organised the first public inquiry into Islamophobia in Scotland. It was conducted by Professor Peter Hopkins of Newcastle University. ‘A total of 447 respondents completed the online survey’, (Scotland’s Islamophobia 1.1). The report begins with its working definition. ‘Islamophobia is any distinction, exclusion, or restriction towards, or preference against, Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslims) that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life’. (p.1)
83% of the 447 Muslim respondents said they experienced Islamophobia directly, with Muslim women more likely to encounter it than men. The inquiry also found 75% of Muslims said Islamophobia is a regular or everyday issue in Scottish society with 78% believing it is getting worse. There are 76,737 Muslims in Scotland at present, 1.45% of the population. 447 is 0.58% of the Muslim population of Scotland. This is hardly reflective and suggests a minority with activist tendencies promoting specific points of view. Professor Peter Hopkins himself writes ‘I am a Professor of Social Geography and my research and teaching interests centre upon the challenges and complexities of social inequality and justice, and the experiences of those who are marginalised in society. More specifically, my research focuses upon the intersections of youth, migration, race, religion, and gender’. Peter Hopkins is not a neutral researcher. He is part of the woke movement which seeks out instances of racial and other forms of discrimination, including those known as micro-aggressions. The Survey form leads heavily toward sought after responses.
In one section the following question is asked. ‘Do you think you are at a higher risk of facing Islamophobia if you:
Wear a headscarf or headcovering
Have a beard
Wear 'Asian' clothes
Have brown skin
Attend a mosque
Other (please specify)
This is hardly academic research. Of course, if you do not fall into any of these categories you are unlikely to suffer Islamophobia. Muslims seek to display their identity as Muslims in this western country. They choose not to assimilate. They seek cultural exceptionalism as part of their Islamic duty to convert others to Islam. That does not mean that they should be harmed in any way for doing so in a society influenced by Christianity. But Muslims want to overthrow Christianity and therefore their complaints about Islamophobia are hypocritical. They should be honest about what their behaviour is really intended to communicate.
There is no balance in the report. An equivalent survey would ask questions such as ‘Have you and your family prospered in Scotland?’, ‘Are you free to express your beliefs and views?’ and ‘Is it not the case that the very great majority of Scots tolerate the Muslim presence in Scotland?’. Perhaps many more than 447 would respond positively to such a survey. There are instances of unpleasant behaviour across all of Scottish society (and elsewhere). Car drivers swear and gesticulate at each other, at cyclists and at pedestrians. People argue in supermarkets. There is common verbal abuse, mockery and jocularity in many social contexts. Nicola Sturgeon is verbally aggressive and hostile to male political opponents. If there is a distinct phenomenon to be described as Islamophobia it is only so because Muslims make themselves distinct. They are simply part of the society in which ill manners and bad behaviour are perpetrated by a minority of the population. All of this poor conduct is to be regretted and ameliorated through education.
Commenting on the Report, Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of the Faith Impact Forum of the Church of Scotland said ‘Racism is a sin and society must work harder and better together to tackle Islamophobia in Scotland’. She said that ‘the new report highlighted "shameful" behaviour towards our Muslim brothers and sisters’. The confluence of racism with Islam is much mistaken. Muslims are not a race. Islam is a religio-political ideology which employs a belief system, militarism, violence and politics as a force in the world whose purpose is to conquer, subdue and convert. It is not racist to offer evaluation of Islam or to comment on its current practices.
Zara Mohammed is Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain. Recently interviewed about the Islamophobia Report on BBC Radio Good Morning Scotland she mentioned the attack on four members of Muslim Afzaal family who were killed in a truck attack on 6th June in London, Ontario, Canada. In a complete abrogation of journalistic integrity she was not asked about Lee Rigby’s 2013 beheading, Khalid Masood’s murder of four people, injuring fifty others and then his stabbing of PC Keith Palmer to death at Westminster in March 2017, Salman Abedi’s May 2017 murder of 22 people who were leaving the Manchester Arena, and Jack Merritt’s and Saskia Jones’ murder at the Fishmongers Hall in London by Usman Khan in 2019.
One of the intentions behind Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf's Hate Crime Bill is to prevent public and even private criticism of Islam and of Muhammad. He and Anas Sarwar use their positions as MSPs to further their Islamic agenda. Subtle Islamic exceptionalism has been introduced to contemporary society. Infiltration and permeation of society with the covert Islamic agenda is ongoing. The Muslim word for this ‘taqqiyah’ which means deliberate deception of infidels, to promote the Islamic goal which is to make of all humanity one Nation of Islam. Muslims are bound to work to turn Britain into a Muslim country. They are impelled by their ideology of victory. They accept incremental progress and so every small success confirms this eventual victory. Nothing is accidental or contingent. It is strategic. It is called ‘Dawa’ (Call) and is based on the Quran. ‘I do invite to God – on evidence clear as the seeing of one’s eyes – I and whoever follows me. Glory to God! And never will I join gods with God!’ (12 : 108). Rejection of the invitation to Islam has brought terrible retribution in many countries throughout history.
There is a great deception in the presentation of this Report. It is that Muslims suffer discrimination. While in fact Islam regards all non-Muslims as disbelievers and unbelievers. Christians and Jews are unbelievers because they do not accept that Muhammad is God’s last word on earth. Unbelief is not just a life choice. It is not a viable alternative. It is worthy of death. “But once the sacred months have passed, kill the polytheists ˹who violated their treaties˺ wherever you find them, capture them, besiege them, and lie in wait for them on every way. But if they repent, perform prayers, and pay alms-tax, then set them free’. (Quran 9 : 5) This is why Muslim terrorists kill. Muslims do not regard a Christian country as anything other than second best since they place Muhammad above Jesus Christ in status and importance. Islam has re-written the Old and New Testaments, replacing them with the Quran. So Muslims seek to replace Christianity with Islam.
Muslims do not hold to the definition of Islamophobia if it is applied from them to non-Muslims. ‘Misanthropy is any distinction, exclusion, or restriction towards, or preference against humanity (or those perceived to be human) that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life’. There are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia yet Saudi Arabia funds the building of mosques in Britain and throughout the world, especially in Africa. Christians in Pakistan are discriminated against in life, work, education, society and the judicial system. Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi was held in a death row prison cell for eight years on manufactured charges of blasphemy. Only international appeals saved her and she was freed in 2019. Christians and others are being murdered every day by Islamic jihadis in Sudan, Mozambique, Congo, Cameroon, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Northern Nigeria.
The publication of the Scotland’s Islamophobia Report is another small step towards the Islamification of society. Conduct and values are to be judged from the standpoint of Islam. This will continue unless it is recognised and people and politicians call it out. Muslim identity and categories of honour and offence will replace Christian grace and forgiveness as the guiding principles of future life and living.