Scottish Muslims are being urged to stay home after backlash since the Paris attacks

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After a cultural center used as a mosque was fire bombed in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Tuesday, Muslim community leaders are telling people to stay home and avoid traveling alone.


The attack on the mosque in Bishopbriggs (a suburb in northern Glasgow) took place in the early morning hours, the BBC reports, and it being treated as a "willful fire-raising" by police.

“The chatter within the community is don’t let your wives, daughters or sisters go out alone, make sure someone goes with them. Which is just ridiculous considering where we live," Nabeel Shaikh, general secretary of Glasgow Central Mosque, told The Evening Times“There’s a feeling that this isn’t acceptable, that the situation is getting worse and there’s a definite increase in anxiety on the back of the fire attack.”

Another local Muslim leader, Ahmed Owusu-Konadu, said the advice was meant for everyone in the community, not just women, and that people should try to keep a low profile in the immediate aftermath of attacks.

“Our message wasn’t just directed at women. It was sent to everyone in our community and is a measure we always take. It’s simply advice not an authoritative statement," he told the newspaper. “People can go wherever they want but try as much as possible to remain vigilant. Think about the necessity of going out in public right after an incident and stay in your home for a period of time for the whole place to calm down."

In Canada, too, Muslims have been subjected to violence in the wake of the Paris attacks. On Saturday, a mosque north of Toronto was fire bombed and on Monday a Muslim woman was attacked on her way to pick up her children from school. Both incidents are being investigated as possible hate crimes.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have both condemned the attacks against Muslims. Sturgeon called for Syrian refugees to be welcomed when they arrive in Scotland. "These people are fleeing the terror of ISIS, that's why as a community and in co-operation with other countries we have a part to play in dealing with the refugee crisis," she said.


Around 100 Syrian refugees arrived in Scotland this week, the Scotsman reports, part of a U.K.-wide plan to accept some 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.