Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told worshippers at the country’s largest mosque, Baitul Futuh in Morden, south London, that his officers will keep them safe.
Asad Shah, 40, an Ahmadi Muslim, was stabbed to death outside his convenience shop in the Shawlands area of Glasgow in March.Speaking after Friday prayers, Sir Bernard promised to stamp out extremism and intolerance.”The particular reason for being here this afternoon is to stand with you after recent events in Glasgow,” he said.
“A man was murdered, an Ahmadi … and there has been some speculation which has concerned people about why this man was attacked, perhaps because of his faith.”I want to reassure you that we the police are here to look after you, I want to stand by you and make sure you are protected.
“While we are here you will have that protection.”He added: “This country says we protect everyone’s right to have their own beliefs and, provided they don’t hurt other people, they have that right.”No-one has the right to stop you in your beliefs and stop you celebrating your religion in the way you prefer.”You hurt no-one, do a lot of good and promote good things – that’s why we need to protect you.”
Read more: Father of shopkeeper Asad Shah: ‘I don’t know what to say, we are just in shock”
Tanveer Ahmed, 32, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, has appeared in court charged with Mr Shah’s murder.