Council education chiefs were warned about the risk of anti-Muslim bullying in schools following the July 7 terrorist attack in London, new documents have revealed.
National Records of Scotland released a number of cabinet papers from 2005, including the reaction of the then Scottish Executive to bombing of the London transport network which killed 52 people and injured more than 700.
In the wake of the attack – the deadliest in Britain since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 – Scottish communities minister Malcolm Chisholm held a number of meetings with the Muslim community to discuss their concerns.
Minutes from the meeting of the cabinet on August 17 said: “He said that on the basis of his discussions to date he was persuaded that the attacks had had a significant impact on relations with the Muslim community.”
Directors of Education in councils were also warned of the possibility of anti-Muslim bullying in the playground.
The minutes said: “Mr Chisholm said that, in preparation for children returning to school after the summer holidays, he had written to Directors of Education and asked them to be alert to a potential rise in playground incidents.”
Mr Chisholm told colleagues he had also engaged with Glasgow Central MP Mohammed Sarwar, saying it was important to be “proactive” in approach.
The minutes said: “Mr Chisholm said that it was important to maintain the momentum of proactive engagement with the Muslim community and, with that in mind, he was working closely with Mr Mohammed Sarwar, the MP for Glasgow Central, and had arranged further meetings with a number of Muslim groups across Scotland, including women’s and youth groups.
“Other ministers had also met with members of the Muslim community and visited mosques.”