Muslims’ Experience of Islamophobia in Major Scottish Cities: Different Experiences and Diverse Perceptions
According to some researchers (Hopkins, 2004a; Hopkins & Smith, 2008), there is a perception among certain Muslims that anti-Muslim racism is higher in areas where there is a high density of Muslim residents, such as Glasgow. In contrast, other Muslims may feel that Islamophobia is higher in places with fewer numbers of Muslim residents. Through an investigation of Muslims’ experiences of Islamophobia in major Scottish cities, this paper discusses the influence of the size of Muslim communities in experiencing Islamophobia. It also examines the importance of other possible factors, such as socio-economic status and deprivation on Islamophobia. To this end, the experience and accounts of 33 Muslim participants in major Scottish cities (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee) were documented and analyzed through qualitative methods. The findings of this paper suggest that Muslims’ individual and social aspects of life play a more important role on Islamophobia, as opposed to the size of their population in a certain area. More precisely, the analysis of Muslims who experienced Islamophobia suggests that Muslims’ identity and visibility, especially racial and religious signifiers such as skin color, beard or hijab, were crucial to their experiences of Islamophobia. . This is compared, in another research (Author, 2015), to the experiences of 10 Muslim participants in small Scottish cities and towns (Falkirk, Dunfermline, East Kilbride and Stirling) where that the number of Muslims living in those areas is less than one percent of the local population (National Records of Scotland, 2013).