MEND Scotland Local Policy Pledges
Categories: Latest News
Monday March 08 2021
Racial and Religious Equality
- Commit to adopting the definition of Islamophobia produced by the APPG for British Muslims: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”, and apply this definition in conjunction with the guidelines that MEND has produced.
- Commit to financing mosque security and allocating security funding in a manner that is proportional to risk, in line with what is already correctly provided to Jewish religious institutions.
Youth and Education
- Commit to prioritising PSE within schools and enlisting grassroots Muslim organisations to assist in developing teaching materials to educate young people on the dangers of Islamophobia.
- Commit to supporting academic freedoms and initiatives to decolonise education, whilst including an emphasis on colonialism, shared histories, and the contributions of minority communities in building our society as a compulsory component within the curriculum for excellence.
- Commit to tackling the production and reinforcement of unconscious bias through educational syllabi by investigating the presentation of minority groups in teaching materials across all subjects and implementing awareness training for all teachers in conjunction with representative grassroots organisations.
- Commit to developing training programmes for teachers focussed on tackling and addressing bullying based on race, religion, disability, or sexuality. Such training must include increasing the confidence and willingness of teachers to enforce policies and procedures and to report incidences to the appropriate authorities when dealing with such cases.
- Commit to establishing state-funded faith school provisions for Muslims and other faith communities, thus allowing schools to continue to pursue the Curriculum of Excellence whilst remaining free to emphasise their religious identity and ethos.
- Commit to implementing Islamically-compliant student loans to encourage more Scottish Muslim students to attend university.
- Commit to increasing the diversity within teaching, particularly at senior leadership levels, and through mentorship programs for junior BAME staff.
- Commit to tackling religious, racial and gendered discrimination in the workplace through targeted interventions at all stages of recruitment, retention and promotion.
- Commit to supporting employers to recognise and accommodate religious festivals and religious observance within the workplace, including the provision of halal meat, prayer rooms, and flexible work hours during Ramadan.
- Commit to the use of name-blind applications and targeted interventions within employment aimed at tackling the triple penalty and improving access to employment for Scottish Muslim women specifically.
Crime and Policing
- Commit to investigating structural Islamophobia within the Criminal Justice System.
- Commit to ensuring that Police Scotland record Islamophobic hate crimes as a separate category of hate crime.
- Commit to increasing diversity at all levels of seniority within Police Scotland and at all levels of the criminal justice system, including through positive intervention and mentorship programs for BAME members.
- Commit to ensuring that all political parties outline their strategies to improve diversity within candidate selection ahead of all Scottish elections.
Minority Rights and Integration
- Commit to supporting the protections afforded by the EU Equal Treatment Directive to advance protection against discrimination on the grounds of religion to education, healthcare, housing, access to goods and services and social protection, within UK law post-Brexit.
- Commit to preserving human rights and the protection of minority rights, including, but not limited to, the rights to religious slaughter, male circumcision, and the wearing of religious dress or symbols as currently enshrined within the Scotland Act 1998 and within the Human Rights Act 1998.
- Commit to an independent root and branch investigation into the socio-economic impact of COVID on minority communities, including examining areas such as education, economic impacts, the deployment of police powers, and increased health risks.