The National:

SOCIAL media users across Scotland have reacted with disbelief to claims in the Daily Mail that the country’s two largest cities are “no-go areas for white people”.

The paper’s headline, based on claims made in a new book by Ed Husain, called Among the Mosques: A Journey Across Muslim Britain, says that both Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Cardiff and various English towns, are off limits to white people.

The article, and book it is based on, have not been well received.

Journalist and novelist Sameer Rahim called the book “by some distance, the worst book I have reviewed in nearly 20 years as a critic”.

In his Literary Review article, Rahim says its “error-strewn first page sets the tone”, lambasting the author for careering “painfully from the risible to the frankly sinister”.

In his book, Husain reportedly attacks a Glasgow man who asks him to stop taking photos inside a mosque as “dressing like a typical Taliban member”.

Readers are also reportedly told that Blackburn council “will threaten you with eviction if you fly the English flag”.

Comparisons to comedian Stewart Lee’s famous “These days, if you say you’re English you’ll be arrested and thrown in jail” sketch will be easily drawn.

The hysterical tone of the Daily Mail article has been widely derided online.

Responding to the piece, SNP councillor Mhairi Hunter wrote: “I see the Daily Mail is doing its the existence of mosques = no-go areas for white people schtick again.

“You've got to laugh. Glasgow's Central Mosque is currently hosting a major Covid vaccination centre. Very much a go-to area for white people!”

Another user quipped that the mosque's use as a vaccine centre made it more a "please come" area than a "no-go" one.

National contributor Gerry Hassan wrote: “Daily Mail attempting to spread peace and understanding again. NOT.

“No idea what Glasgow and Edinburgh are doing on the Mail's map of supposed no-go areas.”

One Alan Ferrier tweeted: “Yer actual Daily Mail claiming that Edinburgh and Glasgow are ‘no-go’ areas for white people.

“Must remember that the next time I visit Edinburgh's Mosque Kitchen for one of their excellent curries, alongside the hundreds of other white people who do the same weekly.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “The no-go area around Edinburgh central mosque features half a dozen pubs, which seems counterintuitive.”

A Colin Wright added: “I was born here in Edinburgh and lived here for coming up to 28 years now and the idea of ‘no-go areas’ in the Scottish Capital is absurd.

“I see that the Daily Mail ill-informed author failed to put their name to this due to shame of penning this piece of forgery of truth.”

Other Scots joked that, far from being "no-go areas for white people" parts of Edinburgh were "whiter than sour cream" and questioned if the article's author had visited the cities.

And it’s not just in Scotland. One of the townships attacked in the Daily Mail piece is Didsbury, a wealthy suburb of Manchester.

One Twitter user wrote: “Didsbury? DIDSBURY?? Where are the other no-go areas according to the Mail? Tunbridge Wells? Virginia Water?”

Many social media users pointed out that just weeks before the same paper had been praising the area as a “hotspot” for house hunters.

One user joked that the area is "so posh the Lidl has a cheese counter".

Comedian Richard Stott wrote: “Hi @DailyMailUK I'm confused... Is Didsbury a ‘no-go area’ or a ‘Hotspot’ [for] house hunters? The articles are 3 weeks apart....”

He then claims: “I lived a two-minute walk from the mosque featured in the article for two years. It's honestly the most welcoming, out-reaching place. They would put on food that anyone was welcome to have, one of their members runs the veg shop and is a hugely joyful guy.”

Writer Paul Bassett Davies commented: “If Daily Mail reporters really want to find no-go areas in Britain, they should try trespassing on the land owned by their proprietor, Lord Rothermere, or any of the other 50% of the UK that’s privately owned by 1% of the population. Good luck with your picnic.”

Activist Salma Yaqoob wrote: “The Daily Mail has been at it again - promoting the most hurtful stereotypes to inflame hatred against Muslims.

“No actual large-scale evidence presented to justify sweeping claims, just reinforcing of existing prejudices and fears with lies about ‘no go areas for Whites’.”

Good Morning Britain present Adil Ray wrote: "These are complete and utter lies designed to do nothing but divide. The damage this does to all of us is devastating. It’s shameful, disgusting and a national embarrassment.

"Many are trying to bring us together, yet those with the largest platforms spread vile, dangerous hate."