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‘SNP aren’t taking it seriously’ Scotland wide data shows toll of anti-Catholic abuse

OF all the religious hate crimes in Scotland 33% of them are aimed towards Catholics, despite Catholics accounting for just 13% of the population, Police Scotland stats show after a Freedom of Information request.

Anti-Catholicism rose 15% from 2022 to 2023 – Glasgow bucked the trend however as religious hate crimes fell from 116 (in 2022) to 122 (in 2023).

However in Edinburgh – in the same time period – cases more than doubled jumping from 26 to 68.

Scottish Alba party’s Chris McEleny (Credit: Sancta Familia)

Alba general secretary, Chris McEleny, responding to the data, said: “Anti-Catholic hate crimes are unacceptable and too little has been done in Scotland to stop Catholics being subjected to such sectarian behaviour.”

“Police Scotland failed to address the issue with the legislation they had at their disposal previously, so Catholics would be right to be sceptical that the new hate crime laws will make any difference.

“Part of the new law provides over 100 third party reporting centres. Not one relates to Scotland’s Catholic community. That tells you just how seriously the Scottish government treats anti-Catholic hate crime.”

In the past year, hate crimes targeting Muslims have more than doubled, rising from 26 cases in 2022 to 89 in 2023. Conversely, incidents against Jews decreased slightly from 271 to 265.

Carol Monaghan, an SNP MSP, has previously said: “Our city has long had an endemic anti-Irish and anti-Catholic problem.

“Some choose to brand this type of provocation as typical ‘Glasgow sectarianism’ or ‘football-fuelled hijinks.’ I choose to call it out for what it is: anti-Irish racism and a symbiotic anti-Catholic bigotry.

“For meaningful progress, a cultural shift is required in our city.

And writing in The Times last year, Peter Kearney of the Scottish Catholic Media Office said attacks on Catholic schools in the media or by politicians,“create and sustain a climate of hostility towards Catholics, which emboldens those who commit offences.”

He said previously that he believes sectarianism is “bred at home” and not taught in Catholic schools.

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