Britain’s most senior police officer has vowed to protect a minority Islamic sect after the killing of a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visited Baitul Futuh Mosque on Friday, 22 April, to offer reassurance to Ahmadiyya community leaders concerned about anti-Ahmadiyya sentiment following the recent murder of Asad Shah in Glasgow. The Commissioner was joined by Commander Mak Chishty, the Met’s lead for Community Engagement, to meet the leaders and emphasize the Met’s role in working with all communities to help keep London safe.
Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned British Muslims that attacks on the Ahmadiyya community would not be tolerated following the death of Asad Shah.The popular 40-year-old, an Ahmadi Muslim, was knifed to death in his shop in what was feared at the time to have been a sectarian attack against the peace-loving branch of Islam he followed.
Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said:
“I just wanted to reassure you that, first of all, as the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, we are here to look after you.”
“I want to stand by you to make sure that you are protected, and that while we are here, you will have that security.”
“Following tragic events in Glasgow, I wanted to stand side-by-side with the Ahmadiyya community in London. I wanted to reassure them. We are lucky in London to live in a safe city where tolerance and acceptance is celebrated. I hope my visit has gone some way to reassure the community here today of our support and that we will robustly police anyone who carries out or threatens violence or indeed any other crime.”
Farooq Aftab, National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community appreciates the visit of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to the Baitul Futuh Mosque and is pleased to hear that the police are taking the issue of extremism and radicalisation very seriously.”