Mosque leaders and police call for communities to unite after shopkeeper death


Mosque leaders have joined with senior police officers to call for communities to unite in the wake of the death of shopkeeper Asad Shah in Glasgow.

The 40-year-old was found injured outside his convenience store in the Shawlands area of the city last Thursday.

Tanveer Ahmed from Bradford has been charged with his murder.

Following the attack police described the incident as ''religiously prejudiced'' and confirmed both men were Muslims.

In the wake of Mr Shah's death and recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Lahore, Glasgow Central Mosque - Scotland's biggest - are staging an event to encourage unity.

A similar conference was held by the mosque after the Paris terror attacks in November, where police, community and religious called on Scotland to unite as it was revealed there had been a spike in religious and racially-motivated hate crimes in the week after the attacks in the French capital.

Police Scotland moved to reassure communities shocked by Mr Shah's death in a letter earlier this week.

The shopkeeper's family paid tribute to him on Wednesday, describing him as a ''brilliant man''.

The family said: "He met everyone with the utmost kindness and respect because those are just some of the many common threads that exist across every faith in our world.

''He was a brilliant man, recognising that the differences between people are vastly outweighed by our similarities. And he didn't just talk about this, he lived it each and every day, in his beloved community of Shawlands and his country of Scotland.''

Those invited to speak at the unity event in Glasgow include mosque imam Habib ur Rehman who has been criticised for apparently praising an extremist who was executed in Pakistan after murdering a politician.

The imam said a series of leaked Whatsapp messages about Mumtaz Qadri, in which he reportedly called the killer a ''true Muslim'', had been ''taken out of context'' and were about his opposition to Quadri's hanging and the Pakistani justice system.