THE Muslim population in Scotland is set to double within the next decade, academics have claimed, prompting renewed calls for a bespoke Islamic school.
Researchers from universities in Edinburgh and Glasgow said community services should be honed to better serve the needs of Scotland’s older Muslims and children as well those from other religious backgrounds.
In Scotland, there is a relatively high number of Muslim children under 15 and a growing number of older people, the academics said.
Dr Khadijah Elshayyal, from Edinburgh University, who wrote a report called Scottish Muslims in Numbers, said Islamic populations are expected to rise as a result of birth rates and immigration.
“Although the Muslim population is predominantly youthful it is fast becoming ageing in terms of the over-60 age bracket which is growing at a quite rapid rate and the challenge that presents in terms of services provision and in terms of community development and sensitivity in delivering services to the elderly Muslim population is an interesting one in Britain and in Scotland,” she said.
Providing a state-funded Muslim school in Scotland would mean Islam achieving parity with other religions, she added.
“At the moment, there is no state-funded Muslim school in Scotland, although there is a strong tradition of state funding for Roman Catholic schools, as well as three state-funded Episcopalian schools and one state-funded Jewish school,” said Dr Elshayyal.
She also said that particularly in Glasgow and Dundee there is an opportunity for the Scottish Government to “demonstrate its commitment to parity by taking steps towards funding a Muslim school”.
Professor Goddard, representing author Dr Stefano Bonino who could not make the event, said that “it wouldn’t be completely implausible” if the Muslim population was to double in ten years.
“So we might be up to 150,000 (by 2027), but that would still be three per cent, so these things need to be kept in proportion,” he said.
Meanwhile, sharia is aided and abetted by those sworn to serve and protect – Police Scotland wastes money on propaganda campaign to “eradicate Islamophobia” while running massive budget deficit: