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Shopkeeper's killer defiant as he starts jail term for Muslim 'prophet' murder

Published 09/08/2016

A Muslim taxi driver who executed a popular Muslim shopkeeper for claiming he was a prophet remained defiant with a clenched-fist raised as he was led to jail to serve a minimum of 27 years.

Tanveer Ahmed, 32, travelled from Yorkshire to Glasgow to confront Asad Shah over his claims before pulling out a knife and repeatedly stabbing the 40-year-old at his newsagent shop.

Ahmed, who did not know Mr Shah, claimed to have been offended by clips the shopkeeper had posted online which he said ''disrespected the Prophet Muhammad''.

The Bradford father-of-three was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting the murder in Glasgow's Shawlands area on March 24.

Judge Lady Rae told Ahmed he must serve a minimum of 27 years before being considered for release. He would have been given a longer sentence had it not been for his guilty plea.

She said he had carried out a "brutal, barbaric, horrific crime" for which he had shown no remorse and even appeared proud of what he had done, and described the calculated nature of the murder as "chilling", saying he had carried out what was in effect an "execution".

As Ahmed was led away, he raised a clenched fist and shouted loudly: "Praise for the Prophet Muhammad, there is only one Prophet."

Some of his supporters in the courtroom responded by raising their arms and repeating the phrase.

The murder shocked the close-knit community in the south side of the city where several vigils were held in the wake of the tragedy.

Ahmed had watched a clip featuring Mr Shah on his mobile phone as he travelled to Glasgow on the day of the murder and was heard in a phone message to say "listen to this guy, something needs to be done, it needs nipped in the bud".

When he arrived at the shop, Ahmed said he warned the shopkeeper he was there to kill him and asked him to stop claiming to be a prophet.

Mr Shah's brother and a shop assistant tried to fend him off as he launched his attack on the popular businessman, described by locals as a ''pillar of the community''.

The Shah family, who moved to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1990s to escape persecution, belong to the Ahmadi sect of Islam whose beliefs differ from the majority of Muslims.

The court heard their belief that Prophet Muhammad was not the final prophet was a view many consider blasphemous.

The family said they were now moving away from Scotland.

A statement released on their behalf said: "Asad's family have lost a peaceful, kind and loving brother, son and uncle who can never be replaced.

"Most of his family have now left or are in the process of leaving Scotland, a country they came to seek safety in.

"They are grateful to the Lord Advocate, Crown Office and Police Scotland for their hard work and compassion."

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty, local policing commander for greater Glasgow division, said: "Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Asad Shah, whose presence in the community is very much missed by everyone who knew him.

"I hope that the sentencing today will reassure the immediate community in Glasgow's south side as well as communities all across Scotland that acts of violence such as this are utterly unacceptable and cannot be justified."

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said: "Asad Shah was a well-liked and respected member of the community who was savagely murdered by a total stranger.

"This was a brutal, unprovoked and relentless attack on an unsuspecting victim. It has left his family and friends devastated at the loss of a kind and peace-loving man.

"Tanveer Ahmed's crime has rightly been condemned by communities across Glasgow and the rest of the country."

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