Police have seized a poster attacking the minority religion of murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah amid growing concern about alleged “hate preaching” at Scottish mosques.
Officers took down the poster – declaring Mr Shah’s Ahmadi faith to be a “deception” – earlier this month from a store in Glasgow’s Southside.
The Herald can reveal that Glasgow Central Mosque has voluntarily removed similar posters previously on display close to its main prayer hall.
Such posters – and leaflets – have long been distributed through mainstream mosques across Scotland and the UK.
Police have previously taken the view that such materials do not in themselves constitute a hate crime.
However, in the current climate they are urging more sensitivity among mainstream Sunni Muslims.
Asked about the decision to take down the poster in the Glasgow shop, a police spokeswoman said: “While no criminality was established, advice was provided that the content of the leaflet could cause offence to a section of our community.
“The leaflet was removed with the shopkeeper’s consent.”
Mainstream Sunni Muslims do not accept that Ahmadis are Muslim, saying that the minority faith does not accept the “finality of the prophet”, that the Koran is the final word of Mohammed. Ahmadis do not accept this.
An anti-Ahmadi poster photographed in a shop on Glasgow’s Southside similar to the one seized by police
As The Herald reported earlier this month Glasgow Central Mosque has organised “finality of the prophet” or Khatme Nubuwwat conferences every year for some years.
Reports in Pakistan have suggested that figures from an organisation called Khatme Nubuwwat – which has been condemned for hate preaching – have attended the eponymous annual event in the past.
A man called Tanveer Ahmed, 32, has admitted killing Mr Shah, saying he did so because the shopkeeper claimed to be a prophet.