Zealots who have turned the murderer of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah into a “hero” pose an urgent threat to the UK, a report has warned.
An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has called on the Government to take immediate action to stop the spread of “anti-Ahmadi hate” from Pakistan.
It says the religiously-motivated killing of Asad in 2016 should serve as evidence that hate speech is being “left unchecked across borders”.
Extremist Tanveer Ahmed travelled to Glasgow from Yorkshire to stab Asad, 40, to death at his southside shop after the newsagent posted videos online urging religious tolerance.
Ahmadis are considered heretics by many Muslims as they believe the founder of the religious group – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – to be the messiah figure.
The 32-year-old killer, who had links to anti-Ahmadi preachers in Pakistan, was jailed for 27 years but continued to send hate messages to supporters from his cell in Barlinnie.
The report said the killing was a “flashpoint” for rising hatred in the UK.
It said: “The murder is a shocking reminder of the threat of such hate in the UK and is a stark example of how anti-Ahmadi Muslim extremism has been allowed to permeate into the United Kingdom.
“Equally disturbing was the support in the UK for murderer Tanveer Ahmed. He was reported to have had several visits in prison from people praising his murder of Asad Shah.
“He has appeared to have signed photos and posters behind bars for those who idolise him as a celebrity and regularly receives letters from supporters.
“Such status is fuelled by the praise Tanveer Ahmed receives from Pakistani hate preachers, which is viewed by British Pakistanis, thereby feeding off the cycle of extremism and hate.”
The report made several recommendations to the Government, including that it should ensure Ofcom monitors channels that encourage hate speech.
Chairwoman of the APPG, MP Siobhain McDonagh, said the report had identified the “overspill of hatred against Ahmadi Muslims to the UK”. She said: “From vile attacks on social media to bullying at schools to the deprivation of employment opportunities, hatred against Ahmadi Muslims has reached the streets of Britain.
“This culminated in the senseless murder of Asad Shah in Glasgow in 2016 by a man enthused by what he saw in Pakistan.
“The recommendations in this report make it unequivocally clear that as an All-Party Parliamentary Group, we demand the ban of such hate preachers from the entering the UK and for hatred online and on social media to have no hiding place.”
Uber cabbie Ahmed drove 200 miles from his home in Bradford to kill Asad just hours after he wished his customers a happy Easter on social media.
The APPG says Ahmed was a member of the religious group Dawat-e-Islami.
It describes him as “an admirer” of Mumtaz Qadri, a Pakistani Sunni who assassinated the Punjab governor Salman Taseer after his campaign against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
The report said Khadim Rizvi, a radical cleric who regularly led violent protests in Pakistan and featured in broadcasts in the UK, is a “supporter” of Ahmed.
It highlighed a post on the Facebook page AntiQadianiat (Tahaffuz Khatme Nubuwwat), with the message “Congratulations to all Muslims” alongside a report on Asad’s death.