Multiculturalism and Scotland: ‘Bringing the Outside into the Middle’
The purpose of this chapter is to locate the discussion about Muslims in Scotland in relation to questions of national identity and multicultural citizenship. While the former has certainly been a prominent feature of public and policy debate, the latter has largely been overshadowed by constitutional questions raised by devolution and the referenda on independence. This means that, while we have undoubtedly progressed since MacEwen (1980) characterised the treatment of ‘race-relations’ in Scotland as a matter either of ‘ignorance or apathy’, the issue of where ethnic, racial and religious minorities rest in the contemporary landscape remains unsettled. One of the core arguments of this chapter is that these issues are all interrelated, and that the present and future status of Muslims in Scotland is tied up with wider debates about the ‘national question’. Hitherto, however, study of national identity in Scotland has often (though not always) been discussed in relation to the national identities of England, Wales and Britain as a whole.
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