Tanveer Ahmed, 32, from Bradford, has been sentenced for life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Assad Shah, a Shawlands shopkeeper, for “disrespecting Islam.”
Prosecutor Iain McSporran said “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.”
Ahmed drove from Bradford to Glasgow and arrived at Shah’s shop at approximately 9pm. After walking around the store, Ahmed pulled a knife from beneath his robes and attacked Shah who was behind the counter.
Shah’s assistant, Stephen McFadyen attempted to help but was unable to. Ahmed struck the head and upper body repeatedly with his knife. McSporren added that Shad attempted to escape but Ahmed “kept hold of him and continued striking him with the knife.” Ahmed then sat in a bus shelter and told the police that found him “I respect what you do and I have nothing against you and so I am not going to hurt you. I have broken the law and appreciate how you are treating me.”
Shah was taken to hospital, given CPR and surgery and announced dead at 10pm.
Shah originally came to Scotland after he and his family were persecuted for their faith in their home country of Pakistan. They were granted asylum by the UK and moved to Glasgow. Shah belongs to the Ahmadiyaa group, a minority sect not recognised by the larger Pakistani population of Muslims. The constitution of Pakistan bans them from referring to themselves as Muslim.
On the day of his death, Shah had posted a message on Facebook: “Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nationx
Regarding his murder, his parents said “We brought our children to this country to seek refuge from Pakistan in 1991 fleeing persecution, religious hatred, discrimination and a danger to our lives because we were Ahmadis.
“We never thought that we could be in danger here. We feel imprisoned by our pain and suffering and we have little hope of ever having a normal life again.”