Murder of Asad Shah

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The murder of Asad Shah was the religiously motivated murder of an Ahmadiyya Muslim shopkeeper, in the Scottish city of Glasgow on 24 March 2016.[1] The murderer, a Sunni Muslim[1] Tanveer Ahmed, had driven from the English city of Bradford with the intent of confronting Shah about his claim to be a prophet.[1] Shah had issued Youtube videos in which claimed the status of a prophet.[2] Because orthodox Sunni Muslims believe that Muhammad was the final prophet, Ahmed regarded Shah's claims as blasphemous and disrepectful to Islam


Ahmed reached Glasgow on 24 March 2016 and confronted Shah as he served behind the counter in his shop in Shawlands. He demanded that Shah retract his views. Shah declined to do so and offered to shake Ahmed's hand as a gesture of goodwill.[1] Ahmed responded by drawing a knife and stabbing Shah repeatedly.[1] Shah attempted to escape by running outside his shop, but Ahmed continued the attack despite the intervention of Shah's brother Athar.[1] After Shah collapsed from his wounds, Ahmed stamped repeatedly on his head and face. He then walked a short distance to a bus shelter[1] and waited for the police.

Motives for the murder[edit]

Following his arrest and remand to prison, Ahmed issued a statement through his lawyer explaining his motives for the murder: "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."[2]

Reaction to murder[edit]

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, attended a vigil for Asad Shah, together with 500 other people.[3]


Asad Shah was 40 and was born in Rabwah, Pakistan.[4] He moved to Scotland from Pakistan in 1998 and was granted asylum.[4] He was a shopkeeper in Shawlands, Glasgow.[5]


Tanveer Ahmed is a 32 year old Sunni Muslim Uber minicab driver who lived in Bradford.[6] On 7 July 2016, he admitted murder.[4] On 9 August 2016, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 27 years in the High Court in Glasgow by Judge Lady Rae.[7] The judge said Asad Shah was regarded by those who knew him as a "peaceful and peace-loving man and family man who went out of his way to show respect for those of any faith."[7] She said his murder was an "appalling display of merciless violence" and told Ahmed that he was responsible for the "barbaric, premeditated and wholly unjustified killing of a much loved man who was a pillar of the local community."[7]

Review of legislation[edit]

Lord Advocate James Wolffe formally recommended a review of legal standards governing crimes aggravated by religious prejudice as a result of this murder.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Man admits murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah". The Guardian. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Why was shopkeeper Asad Shah murdered?". BBC News. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Asad Shah: Nicola Sturgeon joins 500 people at vigil as defiant locals declare 'This is not who we are'". Daily Record and Sunday Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Asad Shah had 'disrespected Islam'
  5. ^ Asad Shah killing
  6. ^ Why was shopkeeper Asad Shah murdered
  7. ^ a b c "'Disrespecting Islam' murderer jailed". BBC News. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Asad Shah murder prompts Scots law review". BBC. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.

"Scottish Muslim groups fail to attend Ahmadi anti-extremism event". The Guardian. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.