MEMBERS of Scotland’s largest Muslim community are being urged to stay at home and avoid travel outdoors if unaccompanied amid increasing signs of a Paris attacks backlash.

As police investigate a firebomb attack on an Islamic centre in East Dunbartonshire, leaders at two of Glasgow’s biggest mosques have said the message had been sent through their communities to avoid where possible being in public alone.

 Ahmed Owusu-Konadu, a leader within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Glasgow, said he had communicated to his congregation in the west of the city they should remain at home until satisfied any backlash had passed.

Nabeel Shaikh, general secretary of Glasgow Central Mosque, said the attack in Bishopbriggs had heightened the anxiety amongst the Muslim community.

He added: “The chatter within the community is don’t let your wives, daughters or sisters go out alone, make sure someone goes with them. Which is just ridiculous considering where we live.

“There’s a feeling that this isn’t acceptable, that the situation is getting worse and there’s a definite increase in anxiety on the back of the fire attack.”

Mr Shaikh had previously told of concerns of the emergence of Islamophobic incidents in areas with no history of it, including the racial abuse of a female shopper in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire.  

 Police Scotland has confirmed it is treating the fire on the Bishopbriggs Cultural Centre - also known as Al Sarouk - in the early hours of Tuesday morning as “wilful”.

It comes on the back of a series of arrests for alleged hate crimes over the weekend.  

Mr Owusu-Konadu said the advice was not meant as a diktat to fellow members of his faith but an appeal for “commonsense and vigilance”.

He said: “Our message wasn’t just directed at women. It was sent to everyone in our community and is a measure we always take. It’s simply advice not an authoritative statement.

“People can go wherever they want but try as much as possible to remain vigilant. Think  about the necessity of going out in public right after an incident and stay in your home for a period of time for the whole place to calm down.

“If you need to go out, feel free to go out.”  

He pointed to the online attacks on Scottish Government minister Humza Yousaf and the Scottish Defence League rally in Ayrshire at the weekend as evidence of the difficulties Muslims can face in the backlash of an attack by Islamic State or other extremist group.

Mr Owusu-Konadu also said police were aware young Muslims were providing 24-hour protection of mosques after the Friday atrocities.