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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Have your say: Sectarianism
Sectarian graffiti
A BBC poll for Radio Five Live has found that sectarian abuse remains a widespread problem in Scotland, with 13% of people claiming to have been affected.

The issue has prompted action by the Scottish Executive and the Old Firm to clamp down on bigotry.

The survey found many victims said they had been targeted by light-hearted abuse, but more than one in five said they had been physically assaulted.

We asked if you had been personally affected by sectarianism and what your views were on the issue.


Scottish sectarianism is much wider than just confined to the football field or to the west of Scotland. Since crossing the 'religious divide' I am in 'no man's land' - my family broke off contact and I was swiftly marginalised by many of my ex-colleagues - This is not the reaction of mindless thugs but so-called intelligent educated Scots in the 21st century. I was brought up to hate and look down on RC's as being socially and intellectually inferior - because I refused to go down that road (and the road of racism towards the English) I no longer feel welcome among those with whom I was brought up.
Ruth, London

There is nothing the Scottish Executive can do about people hating each other. They can legislate all they want but they just drive it deeper into people's hearts. Let people be who they are! If a man wants to hate someone else - let him! If he strikes another then prosecute the action but NOT the thought!!
Robert, Riverside; USA

I find it increasingly hard to understand the religious bigotry in Ireland and parts of Scotland. I have three daughters, two of them go to public schools and the other goes to a Catholic school. None of my children have been baptized into a religion, yet they are kind and sensitive children.
Kimberly Bird, Alberta, Canada

Wearing the wrong colours at work caused a number of people to stop working in protest. I had to remove my scarf. I did not know they took it so seriously.
William Keaney, Bronx USA

As something that has its foundation in Irish immigration and religion, it's so stupid that so many people choose to have a warped sense of reality and think 19th century issues are also today's issues. It's sad that people are taught this bigotry and continue to teach their children this bigotry. Does hating someone for wearing a certain coloured shirt make you any better than someone who hates because of skin colour? At the end of the day you're all Scottish, why not act like it?
Alicia, Glasgow but from NY

I was born in Glasgow and moved to the USA at the age of 10. I believe that having separate government funded public schools for Protestants and Catholics is definitely a contributing factor to the religious bigotry that is present in Scotland. In the USA, Catholic schools are all private schools, funded by the parents, not the government. All races and religions can go to the public schools, and also all races and religions can go to the private Catholic schools, if they have the money. Many non-Catholics go to private schools in hopes of obtaining a better education. I too, whilst in Scotland, experienced religious abuse, and it is the government's fault. The Protestants are in one school uniform and the Catholics are in another, and they wonder why there is no unity in a forced, segregated religious society.
Bob Smith, Rochester, NY USA

Having grown up in a predominantly Protestant small village in west Scotland I was brought up in a biased community. Never having been that bothered with either Rangers or Celtic helped me avoid being around or learning the necessary hatred to become a bigot like so many others who probably had nothing constructive to do. In this day and age we have problems enough without fighting each other.
Dave, Glasgow

If you think sectarianism is not rife in Scotland wait till you see the fights and breach of the peace charges all across the country after these two meaningless football games are played today.
David, Stirling, Scotland

Fair enough be shocked by the sectarian abuse in Scotland, but what about the number of English people in Scotland who receive "light-hearted" abuse, harsh insults, and even physical attacks in their school, workplace or home town? This is just as shocking, and also illegal.
Rich, Aberdeen

I am appalled that sectarianism is so widespread. I saw that someone had painted "HA HA Celtic" on a wall in Drumchapel, Glasgow. This is not only sickening to the Celtic fans who live there, but it is keeping alive bigotry and narrow mindedness. I am a Hearts fan and I was screaming my lungs out for Celtic. They were the only Scottish team in Europe - so that's what counts.
Ian, Edinburgh, Scotland




SEE ALSO:
'Tsar' to promote church schools
20 May 03  |  Scotland
Bigotry study raises racism fears
11 Feb 03  |  Scotland
Scots must 'unite' to beat bigotry
05 Dec 02  |  Scotland
Tackling bigotry: the proposals
05 Dec 02  |  Scotland
Old Firm tackle bigotry
16 Oct 02  |  Scotland
Scots given bigotry warning
13 Oct 02  |  Scotland


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