On Maundy Thursday — March 24, 2016 — a Christian-friendly Muslim was brutally murdered in a district of Glasgow.
There was little reporting after Easter weekend. Move along, there’s nothing to see.
Asad Shah, 40, was a newsagent who owned his own shop in Shawlands, Glasgow. He moved from Pakistan to Scotland in the 1990s and, by all accounts, was a happy, outgoing man who had many friends and acquaintances.
Asad was an Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi). They are among the most peaceful Muslim groups. Because the Ahmadis reject violence and jihad, they are also among the most persecuted. Fundamentalist Muslims do not consider Ahmadis to be true Muslims.
They have high respect for Jesus. They believe that, after His death, He was transported to Pakistan and was buried there. His notional tomb is a site of Ahmadi veneration. (See Jean Devriendt comment to Le Monde‘s article.)
This is an important detail, because Asad had a Facebook account on which he posted his final message at 5:10 p.m. on Maundy Thursday:
Good Friday and a very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation … Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds.
One cannot help but hope that Asad’s soul is with our Lord and that he has found ‘success’ in the world to come.
Scotland’s Daily Record reported on March 29 that Asad also posted his own videos with peaceful messages on his Facebook page. In November 2014, a London-based Muslim group opposed to Ahmadi teachings posted them on Daily Motion, a video hosting site, and accused him of being a ‘false prophet’.
Hours after Asad posted his Easter message, he was stabbed in the head with a kitchen knife then was stomped on outside his shop. The Daily Record reported that a man from Bradford (northern England) named Tanveer Ahmed was charged with his murder on March 29 in Glasgow Sheriff Court and remanded in custody. He is due to appear in court again this week.
The case is being rightly treated by authorities as ‘religiously prejudiced’.
Of course, when it was initially reported and few details were available, author Douglas Murray noted:
Most of the UK press began by going big on this story and referring to it as an act of ‘religious hatred’, comfortably leaving readers with the distinct feeling that – post-Brussels – the Muslim shopkeeper must have been killed by an ‘Islamophobe’.
Had that been the case, by now the press would be crawling over every view the killer had ever held and every Facebook connection he had ever made. They would be asking why he had done it and investigating every one of his associates.
The truth turned out to be something quite different. Consequently, the media lost interest. The last reports that I could find are dated March 29, 2016.
On Easter Sunday, The Guardian reported that Scotland’s only Muslim minister Humza Yousaf tweeted:
No ifs, no buts, no living in denial – vile cancer of sectarianism needs stamped out wherever it exists – including amongst Muslims.
The paper also reported the statement which was issued on behalf of the Ahmadi community:
In any society, all members of the public have a right to safety and it is up to the government and police to protect members of the public as best they can. It is up to the government to root out all forms of extremism and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has been speaking about the importance of this for many years.
Friends and acquaintances of Asad have generously raised more than £90,000 pounds to help his family.
The Guardian reported that Asad’s younger sister, who lives in England and travelled to Scotland to be with family members, expressed her deep gratitude to the donors. Of her late brother, she extolled his humble, gentle nature and said he was:
A real gentleman. He embraced Scotland and Glasgow. He was so proud to be a Glaswegian and so loyal to the city. He knew so many people.
May Asad rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends who will miss him greatly.