Flyers calling for death for people who “insult Islam” have been handed out at a London mosque, and authorities are looking into whether or not a hate crime has been committed, the Independent is reporting.
A worshiper who chose not to give his name said that he went for prayers at the Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania mosque in London’s Walthamstow neighborhood, and “two or three” people were handing out the flyer. On the cover of the flyer is the name and face of Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, a London imam (an “imam” is a cleric in Islam).
” The Standard has learned that the leaflet carries the name of preacher Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani on its front… https://t.co/udmRHpt9i0
— Livio Pavone (@LivioPavone) October 8, 2016
Inside, according to The International Business Times, is a detailed account of the actions of a Pakistani man named Mumtaz Qadri. In 2001, Qadri was serving as a bodyguard to Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer when he assassinated his boss, shooting him 27 times with an AK-47 assault rifle. Authorities say Qadri was a “Muslim fanatic” who killed Taseer because he (Taseer) had spoken up against Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, which called for death to anyone who insults Islam.
— 92Tube (@92_tube) September 21, 2016
The pamphlet praises Qadri, who was later hanged for his crimes, as a hero whom Muslims should emulate. The flier calls for death to anyone who insults Islam, says that “apostates” must be put to death, and says that being a “big shot” does not put someone above Islamic law. The flier also references an ancient Islamic law manual which calls for those who insult Islam to be killed.
The unidentified worshiper who spoke to The Independent says he is outraged at the contents of the flier.
“Two or three people delivered the leaflet. I am shocked. I think it gives a bad impression. Islam teaches when you live here you obey the law and the rule of law, but this is not doing that.”
For his part, Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, the imam whose name and image appear on the cover of the flier, denies having anything to do with it.
“I am not aware of if, why or how, the booklet was distributed in Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania. If it was distributed… then this was done without any authorisation by either me or any member of the committee of Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania.”
He also insists that he did not give anyone permission to use his face or name, and that he strongly disagrees with the message in the flyer.
In fact, Jilani has been on the U.K. government’s radar since at least 2011, according to the Telegraph, when he made statements on TV that seemed to support killing non-Muslims. Speaking on the program Rehmatul Lil Alameen (“Mercy unto the Worlds”), Jilani said that killing “apostates” is not terrorism, and that Muslims musn’t wait for the courts to act when it comes to insulting Islam, but instead must take the matter into their own hands.
“It is your duty, the duty of those who recite the holy verse, to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed… An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him.”
Scotland Yard promised an investigation into the flyers to see if any crimes — hate crimes in particular — were committed in handing out the fliers.
“We will be assessing the contents of these leaflets to establish whether any criminal offence has taken place. We are committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities.”
[Feature Image by leolintang/Shutterstock]