Sectarianism hides behind unionism in Scotland

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A Catholic church in the West End of Glasgow has been attacked in a series of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish incidents in the city.

The attack took place on the church on Monday, April 29 between 1:30 and 4 pm. at St. Simon’s parish, an attack the archdiocese has called ‘shameful’.

The vandalisation comes just a few days after anti-Catholic graffiti was sprayed at a bus stop outside Holy Family parish in Mossend, just a few miles north of Motherwell.

A Catholic cemetery in Glasgow has also been vandalised in the past two weeks, while windows at the parish school were smashed in the last month.

Sectarianism and crimes motivated by anti-Catholicism have been on the rise in Britain in recent years.

The most prominent victim has been James McClean, who has again been subjected to vile sectarian abuse and death threats this week. The Stoke City star received a sickening ‘Happy birthday and die’ card sent to him at the club’s training ground - the latest in a long line of attacks on the Derry man

‘Kick It Out’, the organisation which campaigns against racism in soccer, has now backed the Derry-born soccer player, the first time it has addressed the issue of anti-Irish racism.

In Glasgow, marches by the Protestant Orange Order have faced rising opposition after a priest was assaulted while one passed St Mary’s Church in Glasgow last summer.

The ‘Call it Out’ campaign against anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism in Scotland has urged opposition to plans for a parade by the Orange Order to again pass the church next week.

Marches by the Protestant Orange Order have faced rising opposition after a priest was assaulted while it passed St Mary’s last summer. The latest march is being organised for next weekend, but with a political twist. It is being organised by ‘The British Together’, which describes itself as “the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland’s campaign to keep the United Kingdom together”.

It will involve other Scottish unionist and loyalist groups. However, the Order has tried to hide its role in the parade, urging those attending not to advertise their allegiance. “The Order has assisted with arrangements and will provide stewarding, but this is NOT an Orange event. No colours are to be worn and there will be no bands,” they said.

The parade follows a nationalist one this weekend, which has seen up to 100,000 supporters of Scottish independence march through Glasgow today, Saturday May 4.

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