A third of Scots believe Islam receives too much respect, while a quarter think too little is shown to Christianity, according to an Easter Sunday poll for The Sunday Times.
The survey also suggests the number of Roman Catholics in the country receiving abuse may have been significantly underestimated.
A total of 33% of respondents said Islam gets too much respect and 15% said it is not respected enough, while 11% think Judaism is respected too much and 19% believe it is not.
Anas Sarwar, the Labour MSP who has received threats on social media and by email, told the newspaper: “Sadly at times it seems that our society is becoming less tolerant and more divided. We should respect people of all faiths and none.
“There is clearly a lot more work to do to build a society free of all forms of prejudice and hate.
“We can’t leave the fight against sexism, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Catholicism and all other forms of prejudice to individual communities. It must be a fight for all of us.”
Although Islamophobia has been condemned by Christian campaigners, some believe secularists have driven Christianity to the fringes of society and fear Christian victims of religious prejudice are not given as much attention.
Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde university, told the newspaper there is little evidence of hostility to the role of Christianity in Scotland today.
He said: “Christianity is, perhaps, still regarded as part of Scotland’s cultural heritage even if not something that is widely practised.
“The same, however, seemingly cannot be said of Islam, where as many as one in three feel that the religion is given too much respect – a consequence perhaps of the prominence that events in recent years have given to more fundamentalist and exclusive interpretations of that religion.”
Even among those who are not religious, the findings show a quarter think Christianity is given too much respect, while among Scots in general 25% feel it is given too little.
One in five Catholics said they had experienced religious prejudice in the past five years – almost twice the level of those in the Church of Scotland.
Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, told the newspaper: “The fact that twice as many Catholics have experienced prejudice or abuse as the general population is a sad indication of lingering anti-Catholicism in Scotland.”
A Scottish Government spokesman told The Sunday Times: “Any form of racism, prejudice or bigotry is completely unacceptable.
“We are resolved to do everything that it takes to ensure that Scotland is a place where there is zero tolerance of racism in any form.
“Scotland’s diversity is our strength and we value and appreciate our relationships with our diverse faith communities and welcome their contribution.”
Panelbase interviewed 1,037 Scots between March 23 and March 28 for the survey.
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A poll has revealed opinions in Scotland of which religions people think are the most and least respected.
Written by: Miriam Emenike
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