Glasgow & West Scotland

Extremism claim imam will not be charged

Image caption Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman said he condemned "extrajudicial killing and anarchy"

The religious head of Scotland's largest mosque who praised an extremist executed for committing murder in Pakistan, will not face charges.

Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

Qadri was hanged in February after murdering a local politician who opposed strict blasphemy laws.

Police Scotland said it had reviewed the messages but said "no criminality has been established".

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

Image caption Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman is the most senior imam at Glasgow Central Mosque

Speaking at a conference in Glasgow on Thursday representing differing strands of Muslim faith, imam Habib Ur Rehman repeated that his comments were "misconstrued" and said the situation had added to his "sense of tragedy" following recent terror attacks.

He said: "I condemn extrajudicial killing and anarchy. The spirit of Islam is a spirit of peace."

Police Scotland Superintendent Jim Baird said: "Officers have reviewed all comments as reported to Police Scotland and, whilst it is appreciated that individuals raise issues that concern them, on this occasion no criminality has been established.

"Police Scotland thank the members of the public who raised this issue with us.

"Each person who reported their concerns to the police, and who were not anonymous, was responded to individually. This assisted us in directly answering the specific points they raised."

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