Muslim shop owner slain over Easter message on Facebook

From CharismaNews

A shopkeeper was murdered outside his shop in Glasgow last Thursday, after posting a message celebrating Easter on his Facebook page. 

Asad Shah, a Muslim, had written:

"A very happy Easter to my beloved Christian nation ... Let's follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds."

Regular customers reported that he had also handed out Easter eggs and cards. 

Hours after he posted his message, he was brutally attacked with a knife and had his head stamped on outside his corner shop. Mr. Shah's brother, Athar, had witnessed the stabbing. 

A 32-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of Mr. Shah's murder, and the police confirm the suspect is a Muslim. 

Muslims bow to pray in the UK.

Muslims bow to pray in the UK.

The police are treating this as a "religiously prejudiced" attack.

'In Shock'

Asad Shah, 40, was well-loved by his community and was known for promoting peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims. 

He had been due to host a Google hangout on the importance of Easter. 

Speaking of his loss, Mr. Shah's father, Syed, said:

"I just can't speak, we are in shock here. I don't know the details of what happened, I wasn't there, but my other son saw everything. He was there at the time, and he was injured too, but only slightly. I'm sure you can imagine how we are all feeling."

'We are scared for our lives'

Mohammad Faisal, a family friend of the Shahs, said that he had also witnessed the attack. 

"It was just a clear-cut revenge attack. For posting messages about peace, messages about greeting fellow Christians and Jews—other people from different beliefs," he added. 

One of the shopkeeper's three brothers said: 

"We have to be careful now about our own security. We are scared for our lives. The police have told us to be careful about what we say."

On Good Friday, a silent vigil was held for Mr. Shah outside his shop, attended by around 500 people, including the Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon. 

"My heart goes out to the family of Asad Shah, a popular shopkeeper in my constituency," she said later.  

Nissar Hussain

This is not the first time a British citizen has faced violence from the Muslim community for publicly expressing support for the Christian faith. 

Leaving Islam in particular carries high risks for Muslims, even in the U.K. apostasy is a punishable offense; in some countries, by death.

Last November, Nissar Hussain, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in 1996, was attacked outside his home in Bradford by two Muslim men. 

He was left hospitalized with several injuries including a broken hand and kneecap. 

Nissar has been involved in promoting Christian Concern's "Safe Haven" initiative, which aims to provide support for those who wish to leave Islam but fear the consequences. 

Find out more about Safe Haven and how you can help here.

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