Anne McTaggart MSP has given her support to third sector organisations that are working hard to banish negative racial and religious stereotypes in Scotland.
Ms McTaggart was contributing to a Members’ Debate from Scottish Labour colleague Hanzala Malik MSP, on challenging negative racial and religious stereotypes.
In her speech, Anne McTaggart MSP congratulated Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre on the launch of their ‘I Speak for Myself’ campaign in Glasgow. Amina visited Scottish secondary schools to discuss Islam with pupils; and found that a staggering 70% of the pupils they spoke with associated incredibly false and negative ideas with Muslim women. Amina’s campaign focuses on challenging these misconceptions about Muslim women by actively getting out and speaking to Muslim women about their experiences, their identity and their personal beliefs.
Ms McTaggart also spoke about Scotland’s leading anti-sectarianism charity Nil by Mouth, that work incredibly hard to challenge negative religious stereotypes. On a budget of only £60,000, Nil by Mouth delivered workshops to over 5,000 people last year, with a specific focus on school students. In Anne’s own region of Glasgow, Nil by Mouth have been working with Garscadden Primary School and St Brendan’s PS over the last few years; their projects have allowed the pupils to learn more not just about other faiths and cultures but also their own.
Anne McTaggart MSP said:
“The work carried out by organisations such as Nil by Mouth, Amina Muslim Women’s Centre and many others are incredibly important, and must be adequately funded. But they only work when they are matched with education policy and far reaching initiatives that get to the heart of the problem: intolerance.
“I trust that the Scottish government agrees with me and will use the cross-party support of these campaigns as a springboard to a real overview of the incredible work being done by the charitable sector.”