Edinburgh, Apr.19 : Tensions between the new wave of Eastern European immigrants and a settled Asian population is emerging as a cause of grave concern to authorities in Scotland.
Leading race relation experts have warned that there exists an undercurrent of prejudice
The Scotsman quoted Professor Kay Hampton as saying that people were now worried about incomers - regardless of race - taking "their" jobs or services.
Professor Hampton, a community relations expert at the Glasgow Caledonian University, said: "On the surface, people in Scotland will say everything's fine and we are settling in, because we don't have overt violence of the kind you get in Northern England, but the issues here are much more subtle and some can go unnoticed."
"I'm sure if you look underneath there will be tensions, but it will be mostly played out in economic ways. It's something we need to tackle," she added.
There was a perception of "stranger danger" and there were "reports of attacks on immigrants by local communities," she said while warning against the use of past anecdotal evidence.
"I'm not saying everything is perfect, but I'm saying if you look at the waves of immigration, the potentials for tension at the moment aren't between the settled communities and the newest immigrants; it's more complex," she said.
Osama Saeed, chairman of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, agreed that there were "issues" in pockets of Scotland, such as Govanhill, Glasgow, but said: "I don't think society is in uproar."
John Wilkes, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, agreed with Prof Hampton and added: "Clearly there's a problem of undercurrents. There are sometimes issues of people facing discrimination and abuse and that's where we work hard with agencies like the police to make sure those issues are dealt with quickly and effectively so the message gets sent to the public to learn that that's not acceptable in modern Scotland."
A spokeswoman said the Scottish Government condemned "all forms of racism and discrimination" and believed "diversity brings huge benefits to Scotland, economically, socially and culturally".