The Scottish Prison Service has restricted the phone-calls of convicted murderer Tanveer Ahmed after Political Scrapbook revealed he was still inciting violence from behind bars.

In a letter to the Labour MP Siobhan McDonagh (below), the chief executive of the SPS stated that a permanent ban on his phone-calls was being looked into.

The controversy arose after Political Scrapbook revealed last year that Tanveer Ahmed, who had been jailed for the religiously-motivated murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, was making phone-calls inciting violence against religious minorities.

In particular, Ahmed was focused on Ahmadi Muslims who are considered non-Muslims by the Pakistani government. He had murdered Asad Shah (pictured) for his Ahmadi beliefs.

Bradford-based Tanveer Ahmed had become a celebrity among extremists preachers in Pakistan, who in turn praised him after he was convicted and have circulated his phone-calls since.

Political Scrapbook has raised the issue several times as new recordings have emerged.

The SPS say its likely that Ahmed’s hate-filled calls were to family members, who in turn have passed them on to extremists in Pakistan.

Labour MP Siobhan McDonagh, who has repeatedly taken up the cause and pressed the SPS for a response, told Political Scrapbook today was “pleased” by their response.

Clearly, what allowed the SPS to identify and stop the dissemination of these messages of hate was having access to Urdu speakers who were able to understand these recordings.

It is for this reason that I was absolutely shocked when, in response to an FCO question I raised, I was told ‘There are no Urdu speakers employed by the Home Office in Marsham Street involved in processing Entry Clearance’.

It seems incredible to me that an institution that should be monitoring such things has no linguistic skills in this area. Furthermore, there are 11 Urdu speaking staff employed at the British High Commission in Islamabad – which is clearly absolutely not enough. And that is why hate preachers such as Hanif Qureshi, known for inspiring anti-Ahmadi violence in Pakistan, have been freely allowed into the UK to spread their messages of hate in UK mosques.

The lack of language skills is also responsible for Ofcom’s tardiness in regulating TV programmes shown on UK TV that are also full of anti-Ahmadi hate speech.

In fact Political Scrapbook has also repeatedly raised the issue of hate-preachers from Pakistan being allowed in Britain.

But since the Home Office won’t look at their previous speeches, they are being allowed into the UK unchecked.

The Home Office really needs to get a grip



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