THE Orange Order has accused a group of senior Scottish judges of “not taking crimes against the Protestant community” seriously after it ruled the term “hun” was not a sectarian slur.

The Loyal Orange institution, known for organising marches across Scotland, said the proportion of hate crimes that was committed against Protestants was 16% - the same as against Muslims – and they demanded Government talks to quell abuse, The Times reports.

Statistics from Police Scotland meanwhile show that in 47% of religion-aggravated hate crimes, the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the Catholic community.

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Executive officer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland David Walters said the mantra “one Scotland, many cultures” did not resonate “if you are Protestant to many of our members”.

In a ruling that clarified what was and was not offensive language, appeal judges said the expression “hun” did not contain a religious aspect or indicate malice or ill will towards Protestants.

This followed the case of David Di Pinto, 39, who was arrested for calling police officers “huns” during the Scottish League Cup final between Celtic and Hibs in December 2021.

A Glasgow sheriff fined Di Pinto £500 and gave him a 12-month football banning order after finding him guilty of a breach of the pave aggravated by religious prejudice.

Di Pinto’s lawyers challenged the prejudice ruling at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh and argued there was ambiguity around the word.

Solicitor advocate Ann Ogg recounted an incident from a 1983 Old Firm match where Celtic and Rangers fans together chanted “go home you huns” at the half-time entertainment.

The court was told Huns were a nomadic, warlike people from central Asia in the fourth and fifth centuries.

Lord Carloway and Lord Matthews decided there was no religious aggravation and upheld the appeal but did not alter Di Pinto’s sentence.

Their decision drew upon references to the use of the word in Scottish novels by the likes of Irvine Welsh and Christopher Brookmyre, and they and they also considered a guide to Glaswegian language published in 1985.

Carloway said: “The fundamental problem for the respondent is that the procurator fiscal depute elected to lead evidence from a Glasgow police officer, who was presumably involved in crowd control at the match, on what the appellant’s use of the word ‘hun’ meant. He replied that it was a reference to the officer being a Rangers fan.

“Whatever perceptions may exist about Rangers and their supporters, neither can be described as a ‘religious group’ or similar. They are respectively a football club and their fans. Their objective is not related to the promotion of religious faith or a way of life but winning leagues and cups.”

Walters said the judge’s decision was “another example of our authorities and judiciary not taking hate crimes against the Protestant community seriously”.

“We do not know if these two police officers were Protestants but the individual concerned knew what he was saying was directed at that community,” he said.

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“We will not be sitting idle any more,” Walters added.

“Our community has put up with verbal, physical and character attacks as well as attacks on our property which we will no longer tolerate.

"We will highlight any hate, discrimination or damage against our institution and the wider Protestant community via the appropriate channels.”