MUSLIM pupils have been called “terrorists” at school and some girls have had their hijab veils torn off by classmates, a survey has found.

The poll of 100 primary pupils in Edinburgh also revealed pupils did not feel their schools were tackling incidents of Islamophobia.

The concerns came to light during an evidence session on bullying at the Scottish Parliament attended by Edinburgh mother Samena Dean.

She conducted the survey to find out how widespread anti-Muslim bullying was after her two girls reported incidents to her.

Mrs Dean spoke to 100 pupils from P5 to S6 about their experiences and six per cent of secondary pupils and 14 per cent of primary pupils said they had been the victims of physical abuse linked to their religion.

Two thirds said they would not tell a teacher if they experienced abuse and of those who had already told a teacher about an incident only 43 per cent had a positive outcome.

However, the report also highlighted more encouraging experiences with 57 per cent of children feeling positive when their teachers talked about Islam generally.

Mrs Dean said: “No parent wants their child to experience the hatred of Islamophobia, but when my daughter started experiencing it at school, this lead me to question how far spread it was.

“It was heartbreaking to listen to some of the testimonies, especially the stories of physical abuse. I came across Muslim children wanting to change their identity, accepting the label of “terrorist” and fearing carrying out their religious obligations in public.”

She said the stories highlighted the psychological pressures Muslim children faced whilst carrying out normal day-to-day activities.

Azru Merali, head of research at the UK Islamic Human Rights Commission, welcomed the survey.

She said: “The reporting by children of both Islamophobic harassment, attitudes and bullying highlights the gap between existing anti-Islamophobia policies and initiatives and the experience of children at schools. It demands a response.”

A council spokesman said: “We have long been a multi-cultural city. It is something we value and part of what makes Edinburgh a great place to live, learn and work.”