SENIOR police officers have written a letter of reassurance to communities shocked by the death of shopkeeper Asad Shah, who died after an attack outside his Glasgow shop.
The 40-year-old was found seriously injured in Minard Road in the Shawlands area of the city on Thursday night and pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
A 32-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death, which Police Scotland said is being treated as “religiously prejudiced’’.
Officers confirmed both Mr Shah and the arrested man were Muslims.
Hours earlier, the shopkeeper had wished Christians a happy Easter in a social media post and he had previously appeared to speak out against violence.
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson and Commander Mak Chishty, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for race, religion and belief, have now written to communities in the south side of Glasgow vowing to deal “swiftly and strongly” with issues.
The letter read: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.
“We would like to reassure you that we will be working very closely with all communities and any sectarian conflict, hatred or extremism will be dealt with swiftly and strongly.
“We are proud of our community cohesion.
“Through continuing to work and engage with our communities we will ensure they remain safe and are always protected.
“If you have any concerns, please feel able to contact your local policing teams, who will be happy to help. Additional patrols and police visibility have been arranged to help reassure you at this difficult time.”
Mr Shah belonged to the Ahmadi Islamic community, which promotes “love for all, hatred for none” but which has been denounced as heretical by some hardline mainstream Muslims.
Meanwhile, donations to an online fundraising page set up to support Mr Shah’s family have passed £75,000. A GoFundMe page was created following the incident by some of Mr Shah’s customers to raise funds for his family.
Posts on the page describe the shopkeeper as a “popular, well-respected and much-loved” member of the community.
Two vigils were also held in the local area over the weekend.
A silent vigil on Friday evening was attended by about 400 people, including Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, whose constituency covers the area.
An event held on Saturday was organised by local teenagers on social media.
Aleesa Malik, 17, said: “He would want to know how are you, what are you doing. He took an interest in everyone’s lives – old, young, anyone.
“You could be any colour, that would not be an issue for him, he just cared too much.”