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The man who murdered “peace-loving” retailer Asad Shah in his store last March has been sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.
Shah, who owned Shah’s Newsagents and Convenience Store in Glasgow, became a personal target for Tanveer Ahmed because of the nature of his social media posts.
The court heard that Ahmed was offended by videos Shah – an Ahmadi Muslim – shared on Facebook, in which he spoke about his spiritual beliefs. Ahmed, whose beliefs as a Sunni Muslim differed from Shah’s, interpreted the videos as Shah claiming to be a prophet.
After seeing the posts, Ahmed drove to Shah’s store from Bradford and fatally stabbed the retailer.
Ahmed was sentenced at Glasgow’s High Court, where he admitted to the murder.
Judge Lady Rae referred to the crime as “an execution”, telling Ahmed he had killed a “peace-loving man”.
“This was a barbaric, premeditated and wholly unjustified killing of a much loved man who was a pillar of the local community,” the judge said.
“He was described as a peaceful and peace-loving man who went out of his way to show respect for those of any faith.
“It is vitally important in modern society that respect and tolerance for others of any race, creed, colour, ethnic origin or religious belief is maintained and protected by the law of the land.”
Shah had fled religious persecution in Pakistan, and was granted asylum in Scotland in 1998. In a witness statement made last month, Shah’s family said they had made a decision to leave Scotland because of the “pain and fear” they felt.
Hours before his death, Shah had shared a message via social media in which he wished Christians a Happy Easter, but the court heard that this had not motivated the killing.
Ahmed said in a statement that Shah had “disrespected the prophet of Islam, the messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him … If I had not done this others would have and there would be more killings and violence in the world.”
Judge Lady Rae referred to the murder as a “truly despicable crime”, which was brought on by Ahmed’s “sense of offence at a man’s expression of his religious beliefs, which differ from yours”.
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