A Dundee-based religious group is supporting a public anti-extremism campaign following the death of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah.The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has decorated 25 city buses with banners proclaiming “united against extremism”, which will run for two weeks.Their campaign comes after Mr Shah died in what police have described as a “religiously prejudiced” crime on March 24.
The man accused of murdering him has issued a statement saying he carried out the killing because he believed Mr Shah had “disrespected” Islam.Ahmed Konadu, of the Dundee Ahmadiyya community, said: “Our Dundee campaign is part of a UK-wide initiative to spread the message that we should all be united against extremism.“The campaign was originally in response to everything that has happened around the world – in Paris, in Syria, Pakistan, Africa – and it was meant to run later.
“It still is about that, but we have brought it forward after what happened in Glasgow because we saw a need to respond.“The events in Glasgow were a form of extremism and we need to combat that. But we need to do it in a peaceful, educated way.“We need all communities to come together, regardless of religion.“Our way of life is all about community, charity and bettering the societies in which we live.
“We don’t approve of people who hide behind religion to go out in the streets and cause trouble.”The Ahmadiyya community, of which Mr Shah was a member, differs from the beliefs of orthodox Muslims and faces persecution in countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia.While Ahmadis describe themselves as Muslim, the Muslim Council of Britain last week stated that it is “not in a position to represent or be represented by the Ahmadi community” due to a “fundamental theological difference”.
However, the council has stated that members of the Ahmadi community have the right to live free from discrimination and persecution and that the targeting of Ahmadis for their beliefs is “totally unacceptable”.