A man accused of murdering Asad Shah (pictured) today admitted he killed the Glasgow shopkeeper in response to him ‘ disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad’. Tanveer Ahmed, 32, had his lawyer John Rafferty read out a prepared statement following his appearance at the city’s Sheriff Court yesterday
‘If I had not done this others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world.
‘I wish to make it clear that the incident was nothing at all to do with Christianity or any other religious beliefs even although I am a follower of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him I also love and respect Jesus Christ.’
Hours before he was killed on the day before Good Friday, Mr Shah had written on Facebook: ‘Good Friday and very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation.’
The newsagent was stabbed up to 30 times with a kitchen knife and his head stamped on in the brutal attack
It had been feared his murder was a sectarian attack against the branch of Islam he followed. There were claims Mr Shah was set upon because he belonged to the Ahmadi community, known for its non-violence and interfaith concerns.
Mr Shah was found with serious injuries outside his shop on the evening of March 24, after being allegedly attacked outside his shop Shah’s Newsagents and Convenience Store in Minard Road, Shawlands, Glasgow
HOW AHMADI MOVEMENT DIFFERS FROM OTHER BRANCHES OF ISLAM
Mr Shah was a member of the Ahmadi movement, a minority denomination of Islam which is seen as heretical by some orthodox Muslims because they believe that founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the messiah and a prophet. In some predominantly Muslim countries Ahmadis are persecuted, and in Pakistan a constitutional amendment passed in 1974 declaring Ahmadiyya non-Muslims.
The Ahmadi movement, which has its origins in British-controlled northern India in the late 19th Century, identifies itself as a Muslim movement and follows the teachings of the Koran.
However, it is regarded by orthodox Muslims as heretical because it does not believe that Mohammed was the final prophet sent to guide mankind, as orthodox Muslims believe is laid out in the Koran. The religion is believed to have around 10 million followers. The Ahmadiyya community faces restrictions in many Muslim nations, where followers are constantly persecuted
Sources at a Glasgow mosque say there are only 500 Ahmadi in Scotland, with around 400 of them based in and around Glasgow. Many of them are thought to have known Mr Shah.
But the group has been persecuted by members of orthodox Islamic sects in Pakistan. Last month it emerged Mr Shah had been branded a ‘false prophet’ in two video posts in November 2014 by a Muslim group which views Ahmadi beliefs as heretical. He was also said to have received online death threats.
Despite the declaration, Ahmed made no plea during the private court appearance. He was remanded in custody and is expected to appear at the High Court at a later date. Mr Shah’s murder is feared to be the first major anti-Ahmadi incident in the UK, and has sparked fears Islamic sectarianism has spread to Britain.
The newsagent was stabbed up to 30 times with a kitchen knife and his head was stamped on in the brutal attack the day before Good Friday. He was found with serious injuries outside his shop on the evening of March 24, after being attacked outside his shop Shah’s Newsagents and Convenience Store in Minard Road, Shawlands, Glasgow. Mr Shah was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
A silent vigil was held outside his shop attended by hundreds of people including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. A fundraising page on GoFundMe has raised more than £110, 000 for Mr Shah’s family.
Hours before his murder on the day before Good Friday, Mr Shah had written on Facebook: ‘Good Friday and very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation.’ Floral tributes were left at the scene
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