Legacy of Love Built in Glasgow in Wake of Asad Shah Murder

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Rafiq Hayat, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK, Releases Statements in Aftermath of Asad Shah Murder

The Baitul Futuh Mosque at Morden, London - headquarters of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Shah and his family who have suffered immensely as a result of this brutal killing. No one should suffer or be murdered, least of all for their faith

The extremist hate of Tanveer Ahmed took the life of much loved Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, but it could not kill the indomitable spirit of people in Britain to rise above such hate. On the day that the killer was expected to be sentenced, that was the view of leaders of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in UK, of which Asad Shah was a member.

Rafiq Hayat, National President Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK said:

“In Glasgow, as in many parts of the world, we have witnessed the evil of a warped and poisonous ideology of hate, that is at war with the whole of humanity.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Shah and his family who have suffered immensely as a result of this brutal killing. No one should suffer or be murdered, least of all for their faith.

“But out of this dark episode we also saw the spirit of humanity, as the city came together in a show of solidarity to show their support for Mr Shah and to take a united stand against extremism. Mr Shah’s only crime was to spread a message of love and compassion and the whole city paid tribute to him for his kindness and care.

“No matter how brutal the crime and how evil the ideology, the people of Glasgow and the UK have made clear that we will not let hate prevail. We welcome the fact that justice has been served and our community will continue to work with others in this proud and great city to build a legacy of love.

“The murder of Asad Shah represents the first time that an Ahmadi Muslim has been killed on British soil because of his beliefs. They are routinely attacked by extremist zealots and it is disturbing to see such hate reach the shores of Britain.

“However while in other parts of the world, such crimes are committed with impunity, we are proud to live in the UK, where the rule of law and principle of justice plays a formidable role in responding to such hate. In this regard we pay tribute to the authorities in the UK and in particular in Scotland, who have stood up against such brutality. In Islam it is important for due consideration to be given to the thoughts and sentiments of the family of the victim. Our thoughts and prayers are with Asad Shah’s family and if they consider that justice has been served then we then we commend the authorities for this.

“We appreciate the work of the authorities and, based on the intelligence and information they have access to, they must continue to work diligently for the protection and safety of all citizens.

“This pre-meditated murder highlights how vigilant we all must be to the evil of extremism and we hope and pray that no one else has to suffer at the hands of extremists. Through initiatives such as our ‘United Against Extremism’ campaign we will continue to remove misunderstandings, promote respect and build bridges with all communities and send a clear signal that the UK will not tolerate such hate and nor will such hate divide us.”

Rafiq Hayat added that the members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose ethos is Love for All, Hatred for None, had seen an outpouring of love and goodwill from the people of Glasgow which the members had reciprocated.

“Time and time again people in Britain have shown that they can rise above the hate and the division that extremists seek to cause. As Ahmadi Muslims, we give thanks to the country that has given us safe refuge, that has allowed us to practice our faith freely and which treats us with equity and justice.

“We mourn the loss of a much-loved member of this city and community and pray that his sacrifice marks a new era in the history of Glasgow when we declare that we will never let hate divide and destroy us.”

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community Glasgow have planned to mark the legacy of Asad Shah. A fundraising Peace Walk in Glasgow aiming to raise £25,000 took place last month. This was in addition to the online fundraising page that had raised more than £100,000 to support directly his family.

Contact details:
Name: Basharat Nazir +447703 483384
E-mail: media(at)ahmadiyya.org.uk
Mahmood Rafiq +447971 060 962
Twitter: @JalsaUK @AhmadiyyaUK

Note to editors:
Ahmadi Muslims – one of the oldest Muslim groups in Britain, accept Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a 19th century spiritual reformer from India, as the Messiah awaited by all major religions. The Community, now established in some 200 countries, is at the vanguard of the revival of true Islam.

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Caliph of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, currently based in West London, will host the annual convention and address it on each of the three days.

Ahmadi Muslims are active in their communities; they raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities each year and have their own charity Humanity First that is serving humanity locally as well as in all parts of the world irrespective of colour, race or religion. Ahmadi Muslims are the pioneers of interfaith dialogue. In 2003 they opened the largest purpose built mosque in Western Europe in Morden Surrey, which can accommodate more than 13,000 people. The community also built the first mosque in London in 1924.

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Basharat Nazir