- Popular shopkeeper's death shocked his local community in Glasgow
- A man has said he killed him because he claimed he was a prophet
- Now a Facebook page has been set up praising the alleged killer
- Critics brand page 'horrific' and warn defendant could become a 'celebrity'
A Facebook page has been set up praising the self-proclaimed killer of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah.
The disturbing social media page – with more than 700 ‘likes’ – describes Tanveer Ahmed as a ‘public figure’.
It refers to the 32-year-old taxi driver from Bradford who is accused of murder as ‘Ghazi’, a title given to Muslim warriors or champions.
The page has been branded ‘propaganda’ which is encouraging extremism by some of those calling for it to be taken down.
On Wednesday, Ahmed appeared to say he killed Mr Shah in a statement read outside court. In it he said he did it because the newsagent had claimed to be a prophet.
Asad Shah (left) was killed last month. Tanveer Ahmed (right) made a statement claiming he killed him
Mr Shah – a Muslim belonging to the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect which preaches ‘love for all, hatred for none’ – was stabbed and killed outside his store in the Shawlands area of the city last month.
Police confirmed the man arrested in connection with the murder was also Muslim and described the attack as ‘religiously prejudiced’.
On the Facebook page, which was started a week after Mr Shah’s death, one post reads:
‘When a person’s tounge [sic] becomes quiet and friendly then his heart becomes pious and clean.’
Photos of Mr Shah covered with a red cross have received dozens of ‘likes’. Meanwhile, images of the man who claims to have killed him are followed by love heart emojis.
One image shows Ahmed next to a photograph of executed terrorist Mumtaz Qadri.
The former bodyguard was hanged after murdering a leading politician who had criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
Someone has left a comment under the image which reads: ‘I Love Mumtaz Qadri and Ghazi Tanveer Ahmed Qadiri.’
A 'horrific' Facebook page has now been set up which appears to praise Ahmed as a 'Muslim warrior'
The page, which describes the self-proclaimed killer as a 'public figure, has received more than 850 'likes'
Abdul Abid, president of the Ahmadiyya community in Scotland, urged action to be taken against this page and any extremist propaganda online.
He said: ‘That should be treated as a violation of law and order rules and if they preach hate and they enlarge the circle of hate then there should be some step taken.’
Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar described the page as ‘horrific’.
He said: ‘To celebrate and glorify the loss of a man killed at the age of 40 is unacceptable.’
He added: ‘People should realise whilst there is a right to free speech, free speech carries responsibility.’
Ahmad Karim, owner of the ahmedi.org site, interviewed Mr Shah several times before he was murdered and one of his YouTube conversations with him discussing religion is posted on Facebook. Mr Karim said: ‘This page should be removed. Believe me, he [Tanveer Ahmed] will become a celebrity.
‘People are saying he has done good work, he had done a good deed and he has saved the integrity of the Muhammad.
They treat him with respect They do this propaganda and they want to encourage other people.’
Also posted on the social media page is a copy of the statement read out by Ahmed’s lawyer on Wednesday after his second appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court.
Posts show heart emojis over pictures of Ahmed, said to have travelled from Bradford to carry out the killing
The statement says: ‘Asad Shah disrespected the messenger of Islam the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Mr Shah claimed to be a prophet.’ It continues: ‘If I had not done this others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world.’
Yesterday, senior members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community gathered at the mosque Mr Shah attended to condemn the statement.
Ahmed Owusu-Konadu, external affairs secretary at the mosque, described it as ‘deeply disturbing’.
He said: ‘It sets an extremely dangerous precedent as it justifies the killing of anyone – Muslim or non-Muslim – whom an extremist considers to have shown disrespect to Islam.
‘In some countries Ahmadiyya Muslim members, Christians and people of other faiths are routinely attacked and murdered by extremists for accusations of blasphemy.
'Such killings are completely against the teachings of Islam. We must not let the same mindset of hate and violence take root here in Glasgow and, for that matter, the UK and anywhere in the world.’
The Muslim Council of Scotland said it is ‘deeply concerned’ by Ahmed’s statement.
The council has asked imams across Scotland to use their sermons today as a reminder of holding respect for all, regardless of belief.