Asad Shah was stabbed outside his store in the Shawlands, Glasgow on March 24th, he later died from his injuries.
Tanveer Ahmed from Bradford in Yorkshire has pled guilty to the murder in High Court in Glasgow and will face sentencing in August.
40-year-old Shah posted a large number of videos online about his religious beliefs, he belonged to the Ahmadiyya group. They are known for their peaceful faith activities, Ahmed however claimed Shah “disrespected” Islam.
Ahmed, a taxi driver, was in Glasgow a few days before the murder and met a friend who showed him Shah’s videos. The court heard that Shah claimed to be a prophet in some of his videos, most of his videos about his faith were filmed from behind his shop counter.
Iain McSporran, Advocate deputy, stated, “The accused’s consistent and repeated account as to his motivation for murdering Asad Shah was that Shah claimed to be a prophet, which so offended his feelings and his faith that he had to kill him.”
“The accused having apparently not received the response he was looking for, reaches into the robes he is wearing and removes a knife which he attacks Asad Shah, moving behind the counter to do so.
“Stephen McFadyen, approaches and attempts to assist but the incident is fast moving and he is unable to prevent the attack, involving repeated stab wounds aimed at the head and upper body, continuing.
“Asad Shah attempted to flee his assailant and moved outside the shop but the accused kept hold of him and continued striking him with the knife.”
Following the attack Ahmed then sat calmly at a bus shelter and complied with police arrest.
Ahmadiyya Muslims are known to be discriminated against in parts of the world and are even banned by the constitution of Pakistan to call themselves Muslims.
Ahmed stated he killed Shah because he falsely claimed to be a prophet. Ahmadiyya Muslim leaders have announced that killing for “blasphemy” was “completely against the teachings of Islam”.
“We must not let the same mindset of hate and violence take root here in Glasgow, and for that matter, the UK and anywhere in the world,” they added.
Judge Lady Rae told Ahmed, “This was a truly despicable crime, motivated, it seems, by your sense of offence at a man’s expression of his religious beliefs, which differ from yours.
“Let me be clear – there’s no justification whatsoever for what you did.”
Ahmed remains in custody until the date of sentencing.
On the day of his murder Shah had posted a message on Facebook reading, “…Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation x…”