Bridging the gap: an exploration of the experiences and perceptions of the Muslim community in Scotland, following the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand

Nighet Nasim Riaz

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Following the recent events in Christchurch, New Zealand where 50 worshippers were slaughtered whilst at Friday prayers (15 th March 2019), where the aftermath showed immense solidarity for the Muslim community during this tragic event by the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and communities across New Zealand. Whereas in Poland, the following day after the terrorist attack in New Zealand, 60,000 people marched holding anti-Muslim banners to claim back their country from immigrants. Unfortunately, across other western nations, there was an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence, with a 538% increase in hate crimes against Muslims across the UK, in the proceeding 3 weeks. Scotland’s politicians and media have until recently stated that Scotland was significantly different to the rest of the UK, more tolerant, more welcoming of others, where the
latest research by academics robustly questioned this. Where the public discourse is one of ‘listening’, the reality is that a consistent deficit discourse is evident when discussing the Muslim community, which concomitantly places the Muslim community as “disadvantaged”, who require the “fostering good community relations” and then labelling Muslims as “suspect” “at risk”, “on the fringes” and “as risk”. When an opportunity to make positive change arises, it is not taken, with no reference to islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism in policy legislation, or action plan to tackle critical issues which continue to demonise Muslims and place them at the fringes of society. At a political meeting following the terrorist event in the Glasgow ward, Pollokshields, BME
Muslim members have taken the initiative to visit community groups to gain a more nuanced understanding of the experiences and perceptions of the community living in Pollokshields, in order to inform policy and practice, through a small scale study. A qualitative approach will be taken,
where focus groups and one to one semi-structured interviews will be used to gather the data.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019
EventIX International Conference on Critical Education: Resistance and Praxis against Populism, Sexism and Racism - University of Naples Federico II & Accademia di Belle Arti, Naples, Italy
Duration: 3 Jul 20196 Jul 2019


ConferenceIX International Conference on Critical Education
Abbreviated titleICCE 2019
Internet address


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