The Muslim man who murdered shopkeeper Asad Shah on the Easter Weekend in Glasgow has confessed that his motivation for the crime was religious in nature.
Tanveer Ahmed has been charged with the murder of the shopkeeper outside his premises last month, and made an appearance at a court in Glasgow Wednesday. Ahmed has issued a statement to try and justify his crime through his lawyer saying that the reason he killed Shah was because the shopkeeper had claimed to be a prophet, reports STV. Ahmed has so far declined to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in the case, which is ongoing.
Lawyer for the accused, John Refferty, gave the unusual statement in court in front of Sheriff Brian Adair saying, “my client Mr Tanveer Ahmed has specifically instructed me that today, April 6 2016, to issue this statement to the press, the statement is in the words of my client: This all happened for one reason and no other issues and no other intentions.
“Asad Shah disrespected the messenger of Islam the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Mr Shah claimed to be a Prophet,” and the statement went on to say, “if I had not done this others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world. ”
Asad Shah was a member of the Ahmadi sect of Islam who have faced increased persecution in the Middle East and in Europe among other Islamic sects. The Ahmadi have their roots in India where the sect was formed in 1889 from traditional Sunni Islam. Most Sunni Muslims believe that the Ahmadi are non-Muslims because they consider their founder Mizra Gulham Ahmad to be the prophesied “Mahdi” or messiah of Islam.
Immediately following news of the murder, the motivation was unclear. Many suspected that a post on social media had sparked the attack. On Good Friday, the day before his murder, Shah wrote on his Facebook page, “Good Friday and very Happy Easter especially to my beloved Christian nation!” and in previous postings had talked extensively about his hate for violence and hope that mankind could live together in peace.
Reaction to the murder among some Muslims online was that of celebration. On social media one Muslim posted a screenshot of the news of Shah’s death with the caption, “congratulations all Muslims.”
The persecution of fringe sects of Islam by mainstream Muslims is often the most harsh as they consider them to be the worst form of enemy, the apostate. The punishment for leaving Islam under Sharia is death and migrants who flee persecution in the Middle East are more often finding themselves in the same situations in Europe. Some groups like the persecuted Yazidis have to be housed in secret asylum homes because of fears for their safety.