From the UK Guardian
The man accused of murdering Asad Shah has released a statement through his lawyer claiming that he killed the popular Glasgow shopkeeper because he disrespected Islam.
Tanveer Ahmed, from Toller in Bradford, was charged with murder after Shah was discovered with serious injuries outside his newsagent’s shop in the Shawlands area of Glasgow, a few miles south of the city centre on 24 March.
The 40-year-old was taken to Queen Elizabeth university hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
In a highly unusual move, Ahmed’s lawyer John Rafferty released the statement following his client’s second court appearance.
It read: “My client Mr Tanveer Ahmed has specifically instructed me that today, 6 April 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.”
“When 1,400 years ago the prophet of Islam Muhammad peace be upon him has clearly said that: ‘I am the final messenger of Allah there is no more prophets or messengers from God Allah after me.’ It is mentioned in the Qur’an that there is no doubt in this book no one has the right to disrespect the sayings of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and no one has the right to disrespect the prophet of Islam Muhammad peace be upon him.
“If I had not done this others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world.
“I wish to make it clear that the incident was nothing at all to do with Christianity or any other religious beliefs even although I am a follower of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him I also love and respect Jesus Christ.”
Ahmed made no plea during a private court appearance, where he was charged with Shah’s murder. He was remanded in custody and is expected to appear at the high court at a later date.
Shah, whose final Facebook update, posted a few hours before his death, offered Easter greetings “to my beloved Christian nation”, was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
This minority Muslim group faces persecution – most recently in Pakistan and Indonesia – and is treated with open hostility by many orthodox Muslims because it differs from their belief that Muhammad is the final prophet.
Over the Easter weekend following Shah’s death, tributes flooded in for the much-loved shopkeeper, who moved from Pakistan to Scotland in the 1990s and was the eldest of seven siblings. As the multicultural community of Glasgow’s south side reeled with shock, people made a bank of flowers, cards and candles near the site of the killing. An online fund set up by neighbours of the Shah family raised more than £100,000 in donations.
Shawlands residents who knew Shah described a gentle man who cared deeply for his community and every year would print out his own Christmas cards with personal messages for customers.
More than 400 people, including Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, attended a candlelit vigil on Good Friday, the day after the killing, organised by two local women – one Muslim and one Christian – and publicised on social media with the hashtag #thisisnotwhoweare.