A BANNED Pakistani cleric whose warped ideology is linked to the murder of popular Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah is to spread his message of sectarian intolerance to Scotland.
Hard-line preacher Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri is due to speak at Falkirk Central Mosque later this month – despite praising a murderer linked to the killing of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, who was stabbed 27 times after wishing his customers a “Happy Easter”.
The Sunday Post can reveal the zealot has been labelled a “firebrand” by the authorities in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, and barred from preaching his incendiary sermons.
Yet despite the ban imposed on him in Pakistan, Qadri has faced no obstacle against his speaking at the Falkirk place of worship on December 15.
While there is no suggestion regular worshippers share Qadri’s views, the development has concerned politicians, and comes as Nicola Sturgeon prepared to visit members of the Glasgow mosque where Asad Shah worshipped today.
MP Siobhain McDonagh, who has campaigned for a clampdown on extremists preachers entering the UK, last night said she was shocked Qadri was being allowed to travel from Pakistan.
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.”
Qadri is a supporter of Islamist assassin Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered popular Pakistani politician Salman Taseer for speaking out against the country’s brutal blasphemy laws in January, 2011.
The same brutal killer was also idolised by Bradford taxi driver Tanveer Ahmed, 32, who butchered peace-loving shopkeeper Asad Shah, 40, in a copycat killing the day before Good Friday this year.
The Sunday Post has obtained and translated footage of Qadri delivering sermons, where he praises the political murder which inspired a bloody rampage by the knife-wielding cab driver.
The authorities in Karachi have described Qadri as acting in a manner “prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of public order”.
He was banned from addressing crowds in October, according to a legal document seen by The Sunday Post.
As news of his arrival in Scotland emerged, there have been calls to have him banned.
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 spokeswoman Annie Wells MSP has also raised questions about the event.
“If this individual is deemed too extreme for Pakistan, then that tells you all you need to know about his views,” she said.
“There’s no place for this kind of hate preaching in Scotland, and we shouldn’t tolerate it.”
Sources in Pakistan claim Qadri’s speeches have become highly controversial in his homeland.
Our source said: “It’s amazing British authorities are allowing someone to spout this nonsense in the UK – especially since he’s banned in Pakistan.
“It gives people the wrong idea about Islam and is probably the reason you have people like Tanveer Ahmed getting radicalised and committing cold-blooded murder.”
In Falkirk, people were shocked at the planned event.
One local pensioner, Duncan Walker, 69, said: “It depends on his ideas. We don’t want him recruiting young people into these situations, especially with IS in Syria.
“He’s a radical. There’s an agenda you could follow. There’s got to be a limit.
“You can’t talk about hate, that’s not free speech.”
Michael McMurtagh, 44, who works as a driver in Camelon, near Falkirk, said: “The murder of the man in Glasgow’s south side was truly appalling.
“Everyone across the country was shocked by it.
“It doesn’t sit right that someone who shares the same ideology as the killer is addressing people here.”
Last week Tanveer Ahmed, who claimed to have killed Mr Shah for “disrespecting” Islam failed to have his minimum 27-year jail-term cut.
The Shah family moved to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1990s to escape persecution as a result of their religious beliefs.
Ahmed, a father-of-three from Bradford who did not know Mr Shah, claimed to have been offended by clips the shopkeeper had posted online which he said “disrespected the Prophet Muhammad”.
On the day he carried out the murder, he watched a clip featuring Mr Shah on his mobile phone as he travelled to Glasgow.
Ahmed was heard to say in a phone message: “Listen to this guy, something needs to be done, it needs nipped in the bud.”
At the shop, Ahmed warned the shopkeeper he was there to kill him and asked him to stop claiming to be a prophet.
Mr Shah’s brother and a shop assistant tried to fend him off as he launched his attack on the popular businessman, who was described by locals as a “pillar of the community”.
Ahmed was sentenced to life at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting the murder. He stabbed Mr Shah 27 times in a cold-blooded “tribute” to his hero Qadri. Appeal judges have now ruled Ahmed’s jail term was legally sound.
Last night, a spokeswoman for the Home Office said it would not comment on individual cases.
One of the organisers of the event said: “This is the first I’m hearing he’s banned in Pakistan.
“There is a lot of political things happening there at the moment so it wouldn’t surprise me if he was banned.
“I don’t think he’s particularly extreme.
“I’ve not watched any of his sermons and don’t know what he’ll talk about.
“He’s part of a variety of speakers we’ve got this month.”