Strathclyde Police welcomed the creation of Scotland’s first Muslim Police Association, which is aimed to tackle the rise of Islamophobia. “The formation of the Muslim Police Association is a positive step,” said the chief constable of Scotland’s biggest police force, Steve House. “These are officers who are positive about seeing the police force as a career and want to use their association to reach out to Muslims,” House said. The formation follows the creation of a Muslim Police Association in England, which has been reported to quite successful, not only within the Muslim community, but also with tackling institutional Islamophobia within their own police forces. The formation of the association in Scotland comes despite their only being around 31 Muslim officers in Strathclyde’s 7,000 strong force, which is based around Glasgow, and some 30,000 Muslims living in the region that make up a mere 1.5 percent of the population. Police constable Amar Shakoor, Scotland’s first Muslim officer, said there had been recent negativity directed towards the Muslim community, which is being treated with suspicion and increased scrutiny.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=2F52BF64F163423321C27327&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
Scotland’s first Muslim police association is being created, and is an attempt to encourage more Muslims to join and stay in the force. Strathclyde police hopes that the groups would also tackle the fear of Islamophobia and improve understanding of Islam. Amar Shakoor, Scotland’s first Muslim officer, said that the Muslim community had been the target of negative reactions as of late, and that he hopes the association would help put Islam in a more positive light. “We want to highlight some of the positive things Islam can provide to the communities and not just the police services,” he said. Strathclyde police has more than 7,000 officers, of which only 31 are Muslim. A significant hope of the initiative is that it will encourage young Scottish Muslims, who had previously not considered a career with the police, to seriously see the force as an option with upward mobility.