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MSPs to call on Scotland to unite ‘as one community’ against terrorism

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MEMBERS of the Scottish Parliament will call on Scotland to unite “as one community” to oppose terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Politicians from across the chamber will pay their respects to those affected by the attacks as they pass a motion of condolence at Holyrood.

A senior representative from the French consulate and members of the French community in Scotland will be present to hear First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick and party leaders address the chamber on the acts of terrorism, in which 129 people died.

The motion, lodged by Ms Sturgeon and signed by all party leaders, says the Parliament “extends its solidarity and that of the people of Scotland to the people of France and offers its condolences to all those affected by the appalling terrorist attacks in Paris”.

It also states the Parliament “reaffirms its commitment to a diverse and multicultural society, and calls on people across Scotland to unite as one community, both here at home and in solidarity with France, to make clear that acts of terrorism will not succeed in dividing us or destroying the freedoms and way of life that are valued so highly.”

Mrs Marwick, party leaders and the consulate representative will also sign a book of condolence in the Parliament’s main hall.

The motion follows Monday’s warning from Ms Sturgeon that there is “absolutely no place” for bigotry and prejudice in Scotland.

It will be taken on the day that a group of refugees from Syria are scheduled to arrive in Glasgow under the UK Government’s resettlement scheme.

Over the weekend, Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said the force had dealt with a number of crimes motivated by religious hatred since the attacks, both online in the community.

The Scottish Government’s international development minister Humza Yousaf is among those who have been subjected to abuse, with police investigating comments directed at him on social media.