There has been a recent rise in the number of religiously aggravated charges related to Islam in North Ayrshire, new figures have revealed.

In a Freedom of Information (FOI) response, the Scottish Government data showed that no charges had been made in relation to Islamophobia in North Ayrshire from 2014 to 2017.

However, in the 2017-2018 reporting period, nine charges were made in relation to people who acted with “malice and ill-will based” against Muslim community in the area.

This is part of a wider trend across Scotland which highlights violence against Muslims has risen by 38 per cent since 2014. Five years ago there were 71 charges brought in relation to the offence. Last year this number rose to 115.

West Scotland regional MSP, Jamie Greene, expressed his concern with the statistics and highlighted the need for unity.

Jamie Greene MSP commented: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see that anybody treated violently on the basis of their religious beliefs.

“North Ayrshire is home to a diverse group of people and our community is stronger for it. The rise in cases of violence against Muslims should rightly be a concern to anyone who values religious freedom.

“I hope that people will reflect on this. Violence against anyone, simply because of their faith is completely unacceptable and has no place in North Ayrshire or Scotland.”