I’d like to send good wishes to Muslim communities across Glasgow who are observing the holy month of Ramadan.

This year, Ramadan comes against a worrying backdrop of the genocide in Gaza, a surge in Islamophobic hate, and a political environment in which clearly racist and anti-Muslim comments by senior politicians have not been sufficiently challenged by those in authority.

Islamophobic incidents have risen sharply in the UK between 7 October and 7 February, with 2,010 being recorded during this time, compared to 600 in the previous year.

First Minister Humza Yousaf and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar are both regular targets of Islamophobic bile.

The tropes used against them – such as the accusations this week that the First Minister acted from self-interest in awarding funds to Gaza emergency relief efforts – are outrageous, but also not surprising after the oxygen given to racist views in recent times.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has gone unpunished for saying Islamists are now in charge of Britain and while former Tory deputy Chairman Lee Anderson lost the whip for saying similar, Rishi Sunak would not call out what he said as racist or Islamophobic.

The UK Government has sought to paint all those opposed to Israel’s actions in Gaza – who encompass people of all faiths and none – as extremists. Labeling those you disagree with as extremists is dangerous and has to stop.

Then, this week, it was revealed that the Tory’s biggest donor Frank Hester said that Britain’s first black woman MP Diane Abbott should be shot and that she “makes him want to hate all black women”. The Prime Minister was – belatedly – prepared to call this “racist and wrong” but he will not hand back the millions Mr Hester has given to bankroll an election campaign in which race is likely to be a weapon in Tory culture wars.

As a councillor for Pollokshields – which has a large and well-established Muslim population – I am aware of the real-world implications of racism and Islamophobia. I’m also proud that Pollokshields residents have a record of coming together whenever others have sought to divide us.

At all levels of government, we must do more to call out Islamophobia where it exists and reassure communities that anti-Muslim prejudices are taken seriously. This is a shared responsibility.

Diane Abbott was right to say this week that “racism in politics is not just a matter for any one political party”.

It’s important that all politicians are held accountable for their responses to racism both inside and outside of their parties.

I’m also very aware, as a white Scottish Green councillor, of the saying “you cannot be what you cannot see”.

We need to work harder as a party to secure diverse representation in Holyrood and in council chambers.

We must all step up to challenge racism and – particularly in this election year – that also means standing up to those who try to exploit race as a political weapon.