A hate preacher linked to the murder of Ahmadi Muslim Asad Shah in Glasgow has been cleared to enter the UK to spread his message in Scotland.
Pakistani cleric Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri has been banned from preaching by the authorities in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city thanks to his “firebrand” image and zealous message. Yet the British authorities have given him the go ahead to speak at Falkirk Central Mosque later this month.
Qadri is a supporter of Mumtaz Qadri, the Islamic extremist who in January 2011 murdered populist politician Salman Taseer for speaking out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, Scotland’s Sunday Post has reported.
Mumtaz Qadri was also idolised by Bradford taxi driver Tanveer Ahmed, who travelled to Glasgow earlier this year to brutally murder shopkeeper Asad Shah after he wished his customers a happy Easter on Facebook.
According to the paper, Qadri praises Ahmed in some of his sermons for carrying out the bloody murder.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of anti-extremist group Faith Matters, said: “No individual who promotes sectarianism internationally should be allowed into the UK as there is a risk statements would be made that further inflame issues in the UK or create issues that our country does not need.”
Scottish Conservative equalities spokesman Annie Wells MSP said: “If this individual is deemed too extreme for Pakistan, then that tells you all you need to know about his views. There’s no place for this kind of hate preaching in Scotland, and we shouldn’t tolerate it.”
The report comes at it emerges that the Home Office prevented three Syriac Orthodox archbishops from travelling to the UK to attend the consecration of a new Syriac Orthodox cathedral in London, a decision which provoked dismay among the Christian community.
In response, the Home Office has said only that it will not comment on individual cases. But Members of Parliament have said that that is not good enough.
MP Siobhain McDonagh, who has campaigned for a clampdown on extremists preachers entering the UK, spoke of her shock at Qadri being allowed to travel to the UK.
She said: “I’m amazed that somebody can be banned in Karachi but get entry clearance to the UK. The Home Office has got to stop hiding behind the line it does not comment on individual cases because this is a real issue for everyone in the UK.”