POLICE are investigating the online racial abuse of Government minister Humza Yousaf, amid reports of Islamophobic incidents in one of Scotland’s most affluent districts following the Paris attacks

Mr Yousaf was the subject of dozens of hate-filled posts on Facebook and Twitter accusing him of supporting the Islamic State terrorists behind Friday’s massacre.

Police Scotland has confirmed it is now investigating the abuse of Scotland’s Europe minister, along with a surge in hate-crime incidents across the weekend.

Muslim leaders have also reported a spike in Islamophobic abuse since Friday.

In one incident a lone female was targeted in a shopping centre in the Glasgow suburb of Newton Mearns, where she was called a terrorist and told to “go home”.

Nabeel Shaikh, general secretary of Glasgow Central Mosque, said reports of Islamophobia in areas traditionally with no history of hate crimes was what marked out the backlash to the most recent terror attack, added that the overwhelming majority of those abused in public were elderly or female.

One colleague of Mr Yousaf said that while often the target of racism due to his public profile, the Glasgow MSP had been taken aback by the “nastiness and frequency” of the abuse.

Various posts accused him of supporting IS, called for him to be deported to Syria and even for his mutilation.

Scotland deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone on Sunday said the force had been dealing with a rise in religiously-motivated hate crimes following the Paris attacks.

In one Twitter post, an account under the name Stuart Ben Smith, mocked Mr Yousaf’s name, adding: “I am sure he is 90 per cent backing muslim killers. Be having a whip round for terrorist families soon.”

A Facebook post under the name Douglas McTaggart said: “Yet to see condemn the Muslim killers of Paris. Why because you support them. Wake up snp you have a snake in the nest.”


Also on Facebook, Jaceius Orelius posted that in the event of a terrorist attack in the UK Mr Yousaf would be castrated and “the blame will be on him and the SNP”.

On Twitter, a poster using the name Robert McGlone, said: “Wish they would send Humza Yousaf to Syria.

One colleague said: “Humza’s one of the highest profile Scots-Asians so gets a fair share of this type of thing.

"But there’s something about the nature of the stuff since Friday, the nastiness and frequency of it, that the police had to be brouight into it.”       


Mr Shaikh said: “The last 48 hours has seen a spike but we’re hearing of incidents in places you’d previously never expected. Newton Mearns is my own backyard, where I live, grew up, where Islamic abuse isn’t an issue. This is something new, something different.

“People are contacting the mosque, saying they’ve been referred to as terrorists or told to leave this country. And its usually the vulnerable, those who don’t want to speak back.

“We have the double burden of feeling the pain of those innocent lives lost but its done in the name of our religion and again we have to say we don’t believe these people are Muslims.”


A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “This Government is clear that any form of hate crime is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in 21st century Scotland.

"Mr Yousaf has informed the police of recent social media activity and urges anyone else to do the same. 

“We value the cohesion of our communities and welcome Scotland’s diversity.  Scotland is becoming a more inclusive country and this is very much to be welcomed. We want everyone in our communities to live safely and without fear, to live with dignity and respect.”