Unity statement in response to Edinburgh hate-crime incident

MWAE (Muslim Women's Association of Edinburgh) are extremely distressed to hear of the appalling racist attack on an Edinburgh Asian youth by a group of teenagers that took place on Tuesday 13th September. We send our sincerest best wishes to the young victim and his family. We hope that they receive our show of support.

This completely deplorable act joins the sadly growing list of hate-crimes, verbal and physical, perpetrated against ethnic minorities in Edinburgh including the arson attack on our Central mosque on Sunday 18th September.

Refugees, immigrants and Polish speakers are all now targets of xenophobes. The fear mongering news coverage of the crisis in the Calais refugee camps being a threat to people here and migrant workers being portrayed as "taking all our jobs" has normalised racist sentiments that anti-racists have worked hard to combat for decades in Edinburgh.

The newspaper article does not print the name the attackers were calling their victim.

It was "paki".

This is because it is a derogatory term we thought we would never hear again in enlightened times of cultural diversity. The fact that it is being used again by young people indicates the extent to which racist language is once again being normalised.

MWAE has seen the rise of third party reporting of attacks on Edinburgh's Muslim women from 5% to 11% after the November 2015 Paris attacks and then again up to 18% after Brexit. This is the equivalent of 2 reports a month going up to about 2 or more a week.

This teenage attack is not an isolated incident. It is part of the growing confidence given to racists following on from Brexit and the relentless negative media coverage of refugees, Muslims and migrants. We must counter this; zero tolerance to racism, zero tolerance to hate-crime.

We call on all anti-racists to speak up and stand up against racism wherever we encounter it.

Statement by MWAE. Supported by SACC; Edinburgh Unite Against Fascism; Solidarity, Scotland's Socialist Movement; Stand Up To Racism Fife; Edinburgh Stop The War Coalition; Radio Ramadan Edinburgh;  8th Braid Salaam Scouts; AlFurqan; Ian Murray MP (Labour, Edinburgh South).