“I want to create a safe space and even if I can help just one person, then it’ll be worth it,” says Ameer Din, the founder of Mixed in Minorities.

In an emotional interview, the 34-year-old, reveals that the scars of growing up the son of a Pakistani father and a white Scottish mother, and what led to him to setting up a youth group for mixed heritage Muslims.

He said: “I was a young boy caught up between two cultures. For some I wasn’t Pakistani enough and for others I wasn’t Scottish enough.

"To this day I’m still triggered by the word ‘gora and gori’. I’ve heard some people say that it’s not an offensive term and it depends on the context its used, but from my own experience it’s always been a negative.

“I remember as a child once going to buy some halal meat with my mother and as we entered the shop, I heard one of the staff say ‘the gori is here’ and he started laughing.

"They didn’t know we could understand Punjabi. As her son it was devastating seeing her confidence and self-belief being destroyed by constant snide digs.

“My mother was challenged by her own family in choosing to marry my father. At the same time, she never felt fully accepted by my father’s side of the family.

“She embraced Islam and learned the Quran. She also embraced the Pakistani culture by learning Punjabi, wearing shalwar kameez as well as learning how to cook curries. It was even suggested she dye her blonde hair. But no matter what she did it was never enough.

“In a bid to feel accepted my father went by the name ‘Andy’ as opposed to his birth name. Eventually they ended up getting a divorce.”

The first session of the Mixed in Minorities took place in March with seven people in attendance. The group caters for those aged between 16-25. Some of the subjects he intends to focus on include celebrating shared heritage and fostering unity to embracing diversity and empowerment.

The father of three, who is also a qualified counsellor, says he doesn’t want his daughters experiencing similar “trauma”.

He explained: “To this day I’m having to justify my existence to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

"I used to work in the car industry and would regularly hear racist comments made about Asians and Muslims. I’d step in say ‘I’m Muslim’ and I’d be countered with ‘How can you be Muslim?’ or ‘How come your name is Ameer, I thought you would’ve been a John?’

“There have been instances when I’ve been asked to read the Quran in Arabic by other Muslims in order to prove my ‘Muslimness’.

“My wife is of Pakistani background and I’m white so my daughters, so they don’t look ‘Pakistani’. My daughters are young, and we live amongst a small Pakistani Muslim community, where everyone knows each other.

“But as they grow up and start high school or mix in with people from different areas, they will inevitably be told ‘You can’t be Pakistani or Muslim’.

They will get looks of disapproval from some of the elderly generation who believe that mixed race children are morally inferior.

“The whole purpose of setting up such an initiative is to empower people. I want them to be more confident in their identity and not have an inferiority complex. I have had a very positive response on social media. I have had people say they wish they had such an avenue when they were growing up.

"Their personal stories are heartbreaking. I know many people who have distanced themselves from Islam due to the behaviour of other Muslims towards them.”

He added: “Compared to 15, 20 years ago the situation has changed. If you go into a mosque or Islamic institution, then you don’t get stared at because there is greater diversity in the Muslim community these days.

"On a personal level most of my friends are educated and travelled, therefore more open-minded.

“That’s not to say everything is rosy. I was contacted by a mother who told me that her daughter is constantly being questioned on her Islamic knowledge and practices.

"The scary aspect is that such bullying is being done by young children who are born and bred in Scotland but they can’t get their head around a Muslim who isn’t brown skinned.

“I want to work with mosques and other organisations so that the message gets out that you don’t have to be a brown skinned Pakistani or an Arab to be Muslim.”