An Easter Day poll questioning attitudes to religious discrimination in Scotland has found one in five Roman Catholics have experienced religious prejudice recently, while one third think the Islamic faith is afforded excessive deference and respect.
Although 33 per cent of Scots who said in the poll that “society pays too much respect to Islam”, just 11 per cent said Judaism gets too much respect. More Scots said Jews deserved more respect than they presently get than who said Muslims should get more respect, the Sunday Times Easter Day poll found.
Just 25 per cent thought Christianity in Scotland was given too little respect while 16 per cent thought it was respected too much. Further demonstrating anti-Christian feeling in Scotland, the research also showed that one in five Roman Catholics in the country had experienced religious prejudice in the past five years.
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These experiences suggest, the newspaper stated “that the scale of abuse against Scotland’s Roman Catholic population may have been significantly underestimated”, reporting that Christians were being driven to the fringes of society.
The poll comes just days after revelations that there are more religiously aggravated offences against Catholics in Scotland than every other religious group combined. Scottish Labour’s inequality spokeswoman Elaine Smith said while Islamophobic incidents were given high levels of prominence, attacks on Catholics were not.
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The Times reported the comments of Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Scottish Catholic church, who said of the figures: “The fact that twice as many Catholics have experienced prejudice or abuse as the general population is a sad indication of lingering anti-Catholicism in Scotland.
“Recent government figures on religiously aggravated offending showed that 57% of all reported offences were directed at Catholics and there had been a 14% increase in offences. Catholics only comprise around 16% of the population but are the target in over half of all religious hate crimes. Ironically, increased funding for anti-sectarianism projects has been matched by an increase in sectarianism.”
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