SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP has called on David Cameron to join SNP colleagues in supporting the aims of the United Against Extremism campaign to support and foster understanding of the prejudice faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It follows the recent murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, which was religiously motivated. This week Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Ahmadiyya Muslim faith leaders launched a campaign against extremism across Scotland.
Commenting, Angus Robertson MP said:
“The murder of Asad Shah in Glasgow is just the most recent example of sectarian extremism targeting the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the UK.“There are reports of Ahmadiyya muslims being refused employment, businesses being boycotted, school children being bullied and shunned, and people like lawyer Amar Anwar who has worked to bring faith leaders together, have faced death threats.“I called on David Cameron to join colleagues in condemning the prejudice faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, which is unacceptable in a country where we value free speech and religious tolerance. It is time for all communities and all faith leaders of all religions to stand up against extremism.”
Commenting, Mr Rafiq Hayat, National President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK said:
“We welcome Angus Robertson’s question on this important issue. Islam rejects all forms of extremism and all community leaders must take serious steps to prevent intolerance, hate and prejudice from taking root in the UK. Our United Against Extremism campaign seeks to highlight this and bring people together for this important work.”
Source: SNP Media
Full text of Question to the Prime Minister:
Angus Robertson (Moray) (SNP):
It is believed that the recent murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah was religiously motivated. This week, Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Ahmadiyya Muslim faith leaders launched a campaign across Scotland entitled United against Extremism. Will the Prime Minister join me and colleagues from all parties in supporting the aims of that campaign to support and foster understanding and stand up to extremism?
The Prime Minister
I will certainly join the right hon. Gentleman. This was an absolutely shocking murder. What it demonstrates, and what his question hints at, is that we need to stand up not only against acts of appalling violence such as this, but against the extremist mindset that sometimes tries to justify such events and other such outrages.
I am in total agreement with the Prime Minister. The murder of Asad Shah is just the most recent example of sectarian extremism targeting the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the UK, including reports of Ahmadiyya being refused employment, businesses being boycotted, schoolchildren being bullied and shunned, and people such as Aamer Anwar who have worked to bring faith leaders together facing death threats. Does the Prime Minister agree that such extremism is totally unacceptable in a country where we believe in free speech and religious tolerance? The time has come for all community and all faith leaders of all religions to stand up against extremism.
The Prime Minister
I certainly agree that faith leaders can play a huge role in standing up against extremism and I welcome what they do, but we need to be very clear about what we are facing. The attack on Ahmadiyya Muslims by other Muslims demonstrates once again that what we face is not some clash of civilisations between Islam and Christianity or Islam and Buddhism. What we are seeing is a small minority within one of the great religions of our world, Islam, believing that there is only one way—a violent, extremist way—of professing their faith. This is a battle within Islam, and we have to be on the side of the moderate majority and make sure that they win it. We have to really understand what is happening, otherwise we will take the wrong path.