MSPs and academic researchers have launched an inquiry into Islamophobia, the first of its kind in Scotland.

Glasgow Labour MSP, Anas Sarwar, is the chair of the Holyrood Cross Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia which has teamed up with Newcastle University to carry out a study.

The inquiry is asking for people’s experiences of anti-Muslim hatred and seeking opinions on what measures should be put in place to tackle it.

As well as individuals it wants to hear responses from businesses, employers and organisations on how they are affected by Islamophobia.

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Mr Sarwar said: “We have established that Scotland is not immune from Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

“We now want to gather evidence on the nature and extent of Islamophobia and identify the steps that should be taken to challenge and overcome hatred and prejudice, working with the Scottish Government and politicians, public bodies, and the media.

“The fight against hate is a fight for all of us; and working together we can build a Scotland free of Islamophobia and all forms of prejudice.”

As part of the inquiry the MSPs and researchers will visit different parts of Scotland to hear evidence.

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The inquiry has four strands it will focus on.

The current nature and extent of Islamophobia in Scotland (including gendered Islamophobia and intersections with other prejudices).

The role of the media (print, broadcast and social media), the public sector and politicians.

The impact of Islamophobia on children, young people and families.

The steps that could be taken to challenge and overcome Islamophobia.

Professor Peter Hopkins of Newcastle University, who has been researching issues of racism and Islamophobia in Scotland for nearly 20 years, said: “Everyday racism and Islamophobia are significant issues for Scottish society.

“We will be working carefully to collate written and verbal evidence about the nature and extent of Islamophobia in Scotland. One focus will be on solutions for challenging and overcoming Islamophobia.”