A British Islamist sectarian murderer has had his phone calls from inside prison restricted after it emerged he was using them to incite further violence.
Tanveer Ahmed was jailed for 27 years last August for the brutal stabbing of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, an Ahmadi Muslim. But it has transpired he has been using phone calls to family to continue with his persecution of the Ahmadi sect, by inciting violence.
In a video posted to Facebook and YouTube by his followers on 7 September 2016, labelled “Message 5 … From Prison Barlinnie Scotland UK”, Ahmed can be heard speaking in Urdu, discussing Shah’s murder and saying that Ahmadi’s insult the prophet so must be killed. The message ends: “Those who insult the Prophet should get only one punishment, to separate their heads from their body.”
YouTube has since removed the video from its site “for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech”.
Now, in a letter to Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, who had been pressing for an investigation into the matter, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) have confirmed that they will be restricting Ahmed’s access to phone calls while they look into the matter.
“Our Public Protection Unit at SPS Headquarters were firstly [sic] made aware of audio tracks in July 2016 and had carried to work to both establish their content and their origin”, the letter reads.
“[T]here was no evidence to suggest that a hate crime had been committed. We have recently been made aware of subsequent recordings and these are being translated to determine their content. As a consequence of these further concerns, SPS has temporarily suspended Mr Ahmed’s access to a telephone whilst investigation progresses.”
The investigation will determine whether Ahmed has committed a crime. The SPS added that they are working with Police Scotland to “review our response options,” which “potentially” include amending Ahmed’s access to phone calls “in the longer term.”
McDonagh has told Political Scrapbook that she was “pleased” by the restriction, but has slammed the government for not investing properly in Urdu speakers, making it harder for the authorities to tackle hate preaching.
“Clearly, what allowed the SPS to identify and stop the dissemination of these messages of hate was having access to Urdu speakers who were able to understand these recordings,” she said.
“It seems incredible to me that [the Home Office which] should be monitoring such things has no linguistic skills in this area. Furthermore, there are 11 Urdu speaking staff employed at the British High Commission in Islamabad – which is clearly absolutely not enough. And that is why hate preachers such as Hanif Qureshi, known for inspiring anti-Ahmadi violence in Pakistan, have been freely allowed into the UK to spread their messages of hate in UK mosques.”
She added: “The lack of language skills is also responsible for Ofcom’s tardiness in regulating TV programmes shown on UK TV that are also full of anti-Ahmadi hate speech.”