Life for Killer of Man Who ‘Disrespected Mohammed’

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A man who murdered an Ahmadi shopkeeper in the Scottish city of Glasgow was jailed for life in a ruling handed down by a UK court.

Tanveer Ahmed, 32, travelled all the way from Yorkshire to Glasgow, a distance of 350 km, to stab Asad Shah, 40, whom he said “disrespected the prophet of Islam, the messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."

The Ahmadiyya are an Islamic religious movement which preaches peace and tolerance. Its adherents regard their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as the messiah. As such they are considered heretics by other sects of Islam and are frequently persecuted in Pakistan and other places.

Ahmed reportedly “laughed and laughed” while stabbing Shah.

In a statement Ahmed told the court, "If I had not done this, others would have and there would be more killings and violence in the world.”

The judge ordered that he serve at least 27 years of his life sentence.

Shah’s family decided to leave Scotland after the murder since they felt “imprisoned by our pain and suffering.”

A crowd of around 20 supporters of Ahmed cheered as he left the court, and he responded with a clenched-fist salute, shouting “Praise for the Prophet Muhammad, there is only one Prophet.”

In other news in the UK, a non-Muslim man was sentenced for posting comments considered “grossly offensive” to Muslims “concerning an Asian woman.”

While police officers did not disclose the exact wording, he is also said to have written “Don't come over to this country and treat it like your own. Britain first,” according to the Manchester Evening News.

Stephen Bennett, 39, was sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community order. When police arrested him at his house he reportedly told officers, “Is this about that Muslim thing on Facebook? I'm getting locked up for sticking up for my own country.”

He was arrested under the Malicious Communications Act 2003, which criminalizes sending “by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”

Doing so can carry a prison sentence of up to six months.

Facebook has also taken it upon itself to censor posts deemed offensive to Muslims. Tam Khan, the trainer of famous British boxer Amir Khan, was temporarily banned from Facebook after a post blasting extremists in the British Muslim community was deemed offensive.

Tam Kahn, who is also a mixed martial arts fighter, called on British Muslims to respect British culture or be thrown out, according to The Sun.

We need to fix this epidemic of inbreds from doing these despicable crimes,” he wrote.

“Sorry I don’t care if you think I’m being harsh. Islam is a beautiful religion, but these uneducated monkeys misinterpret things and feel they are acting on God’s behalf and it’s only getting worse.”

Facebook blocked his account after the post received some 148,000 likes and 126,000 shares but later reinstated it.

On returning to Facebook, Tam Khan clarified his anti-extremist comments in another post saying, “The disgusting murderous terrorists are the reason the world unfairly judges over a billion Muslims negatively.”

He reiterated his call to deport extremists and their families saying, “If you have a family member that is aware and allows this to continue then surely that is tantamount to ‘aiding and abetting.’

“My post was aimed at my community because as a Muslim Brit who was born and raised in the UK I recall a much more integrated upbringing. Everyone practiced their own religion with no animosity. This can be restored but only with education. That can only happen if we eradicate these extremists from having a platform to talk on our behalf.”

He also hit out at “the likes of EDL (English Defence League), Britain First, BNP (British National Party) etc. These people are as hateful, ignorant and evil. Spread of hatred is just the same and it divides people inciting hate,” he wrote.

He called on Muslims to change the perception of the community through positive action saying, “We can make a start in our communities, encourage youth to integrate, provide positive role models, etc. Show the world the positive reasons why our faith is strong and follow the footsteps of the example of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH [peace be upon him] who was persecuted continuously.”


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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org