On Easter Saturday a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow was brutally murdered. Forty-year-old Asad Shah was allegedly stabbed in the head with a kitchen knife and then stamped upon. Most of the UK press began by going big on this story and referring to it as an act of ‘religious hatred’, comfortably leaving readers with the distinct feeling that – post-Brussels – the Muslim shopkeeper must have been killed by an ‘Islamophobe’. Had that been the case, by now the press would be crawling over every view the killer had ever held and every Facebook connection he had ever made. They would be asking why he had done it and investigating every one of his associates.
But it soon emerged that although the Asad Shah murder was being treated by police as ‘religiously motivated’ the suspected killer was in fact another Muslim who allegedly struck just hours after Mr Shah had posted a message on Facebook wishing a very happy Easter to his ‘beloved Christian nation’ and suggesting people follow in ‘The Real Footstep of Beloved Holy Jesus Christ’. The murdered man’s family have now been advised by police to watch what they say and to disguise where they are in Britain because it is believed that they too could now be targeted.
Mr Shah was an Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi), a member of – against some stiff competition – one of the most persecuted sects within Islam. Persecution against them in Pakistan and elsewhere around the Islamic world is rife. Yet despite that (or perhaps for that very reason) they are probably the most peaceable and indeed admirable sect within Islam. Among other things, Ahmadiyya Muslims formally reject the concept of Jihad that other schools cling to. In Britain whenever there is a vaguely positive news story about Islam it almost invariably involves Ahmadi Muslims. Remember the bus adverts a few years back saying that Islam had ‘love for all, hatred for none’. That was paid for by Ahmadiyya Muslims. Remember the stories of a Muslim group not burning poppies but actually selling them for the Royal British Legion? Ahmadiyyas again.