- Asad Shah, 40, was murdered in March by 32-year-old Tanveer Ahmed
- He was stabbed 30 times outside his newsagents shop in Glasgow
- Popular family man was described as 'brilliant' and 'kind to everyone'
- Ahmed pleaded guilty to 'despicable' crime at Glasgow High Court
- He previously said attack was because Mr Shah 'disrespected Islam'
- Police Scotland have warned country is 'no place for religious intolerance'
A taxi driver has admitted murdering a newsagent in a brutal stabbing outside his shop in Glasgow, Scotland.
Mr Shah, 40, who ran a convenience store in the city's Shawlands area, died following an attack by 32-year-old Tanveer Ahmed on March 24.
He was stabbed 30 times with a kitchen knife and his head was stamped on in the vicious assault outside the shop, hours after wishing his Christian friends a 'Happy Easter' on Facebook.
Ahmed, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to murdering the respected businessman, who was described by his family as a 'brilliant' man.
The court heard the attack was motivated because Mr Shah belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Islam, which believes that founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the messiah and a prophet, which 'offended Ahmed's faith'.
The respected businessman was stabbed 30 times and had his head stamped on in the vicious assault outside the shop, pictured, in the Shawlands area of Glasgow
Judge Lady Rae told Ahmed, who will be sentenced on August 9: 'This was a truly despicable crime, motivated, it seems, by your sense of offence at a man's expression of his religious beliefs, which differ from yours.
'Let me be clear - there's no justification whatsoever for what you did.'
The court heard that Mr Shah was a 'well-known and clearly much-loved member of the community'.
Prosecutor Mr McSporran stressed that the Facebook posting wishing Christians a happy Easter had no bearing on the crime, however.
The court heard that Ahmed, a Sunni Muslim, drove from Bradford to Glasgow on March 24 and engaged in a discussion with Mr Shah at his store before pulling out a knife and attacking the shopkeeper.
En route to Glasgow he had watched online footage of Mr Shah and made the comment 'something needs to be done, it needs nipped in the bud'.
Mr Shah fled violence in Pakistan to join his family in Scotland in 1998 and was granted asylum.
Ahmadis differ from the majority of Muslims in that they do not hold that Muhammad is the final Prophet, the court heard.
Evidence gathered showed that Mr Shah had posted videos on Facebook and YouTube which could be seen as him claiming that he was a Prophet.
'It so offended his feelings and faith that he had to kill him,' advocate deputy Iain McSporran said.
CCTV footage of Mr Shah's murder from inside and outside the shop was shown to judge Lady Rae and could be seen by members of the public in the court room.
The judge was told Mr Shah's family wanted the footage to be shown but they were not in court because of fears for their own security and they did not want to see his killer.
In the footage, Ahmed is seen arriving at the shop at around 9pm, where Mr Shah was working with assistant Stephen McFadyen. His brother Athar, a personal assistant, was working in the basement below.
Mr McSporran told the court the pair conversed 'intensely' in Urdu.
'His demeanour and gestures are at least consistent with his account that he was attempting to persuade the shopkeeper to his point of view,' he said.
'From what we can see of Mr Shah, he is responding but not apparently agreeing with the accused.
'The accused, having apparently not received the response he was looking for, reaches into the robes he is wearing and removes a knife with which he attacks Asad Shah, moving behind the counter to do so.
'Stephen McFadyen, who was working nearby in the shop, approaches and attempts to assist but the incident is fast moving and he is unable to prevent the attack, involving repeated stab wounds aimed at the head and upper body, continuing.'
Mr Shah can be seen attempting to flee outside, where the 'determined' attack continues despite attempts from Mr McFadyen and Mr Shah's brother to intervene.
'Athar Shah makes a valiant but vain attempt to fend off the attacker, wielding an advertising sign as the only available weapon but without effect,' Mr McSporran continued.
'Whilst the attack continued, with the accused kneeling on the victim, pinning him to the ground, Stephen McFadyen bravely reached for the knife and grabbed it from the accused, running across the road and placing it in bushes out of harm's way.
'The accused then began punching, kicking and stamping with full force on the prone body of Asad Shah, who was long past being in any position to defend himself.
'Many blows were delivered to his head and face, despite Athar's repeated pleas for him to stop.
'The attack ceased suddenly and the accused walked calmly to a bus shelter nearby where he sat, head bowed as if in prayer.'
A passing GP and nurse attempted to help Mr Shah, who was taken to hospital but died shortly before 10pm.
HOW AHMADI MOVEMENT DIFFERS FROM OTHER BRANCHES OF ISLAM
When police found Ahmed in the nearby bus shelter, he said: 'I respect what you do and I have nothing against you and so I am not going to hurt you. I have broken the law and appreciate how you are treating me.'
However, a victim statement from the shopkeeper's family - his wife, parents and six siblings - said they could no longer live normal lives and some intend to leave Scotland.
His parents said: 'We brought our children to this country to seek refuge from Pakistan in 1991 fleeing persecution, religious hatred, discrimination and a danger to our lives because we were Ahmadis.
'We never thought that we could be in danger here.
'We feel imprisoned by our pain and suffering and we have little hope of ever having a normal life again.
'Most of the family, unable to live with this turmoil, pain and fear, has taken a decision to leave Scotland forever.'
Ahmed revealed in a statement at a previous court hearing that he carried out the attack for religious reasons.
Police paid tribute to Mr Shah and warned there was 'no place in Scotland for religious intolerance.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson, Police Scotland's Safer Communities lead officer, said: 'Asad Shah was a peaceful family man; a hard-working businessman and well-loved member of the Glasgow community.
'His death in such terrible circumstances impacted on those closest to him as well as communities throughout the country.
'Scotland's diverse communities have a proud tradition of unity, tolerance and understanding. Crimes of this nature are thankfully rare - however it makes them all the more shocking when they do occur.
'Mr Shah's murder was the result of an extreme act of violence; an attack which was concluded within the space of four minutes.
'It is clear that the actions of Tanveer Ahmed were motivated by his religious beliefs.
There is a consensus across all of our communities that there is no place in Scotland for religious or cultural intolerance which generates crimes of hatred, intimidation or violence.
'Religious or cultural beliefs, no matter how strongly held, do not entitle anyone to commit murder or acts of aggression.
'There are a number of ways in which members of the public can report hate crimes to the police and I would encourage them to do so.
'The response by Scotland's communities to the murder was one of unity; I am confident that the same response will be displayed in light of today's guilty plea.'
A Police Scotland Major Investigation Team, working closely with colleagues in West Yorkshire Police, established the circumstances which led Ahmed to travel to Glasgow from Bradford to confront Mr Shah in his shop.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Jim Smith, of Police Scotland, Major Investigation Team West, said: 'Officers worked closely with West Yorkshire Police to understand the full background to Tanveer Ahmed and his reason for travelling to Glasgow on the night of Mr Shah's murder.
'Our investigation focused on the immediate actions and admissions of the accused and piecing together a timeline of events based on CCTV footage, forensic recovery and examination of telecommunications data and social media activity.
'I would pay tribute to the witnesses who spoke to the events of that night; a number of them went to Mr Shah's assistance but the swift and ferocious nature of the attack meant there was little they could do to save him.
'Ahmed's compliance in the immediate aftermath of the attack was in stark contrast to the level of violence shown during the confrontation.'
SCOTLAND IS NO PLACE FOR RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE: POLICE STATEMENT
Earlier this year, Ahmed's lawyer John Rafferty read a statement to gathered media on the 32-year-old's behalf following a brief hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, during which he made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.
Ahmed stated that he killed the much-loved family man because he had claimed to be 'a prophet'.
However, he denied that the murder had anything to do with Christianity or any other religion, despite suggesting he was standing up for the honour of Islam.
The statement 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 . 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.
'"I am leaving you the final Quran. There is no changes. It is the final book of Allah and this is the final completion of Islam."
'There is no more changes to it and no one has the right to claim to be a prophet or to change the Quran or change Islam.
'It is mentioned in the Quran 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.'
Mr Shah's relatives said a person's religion, ethnicity or race never mattered to the shopkeeper, who treated everyone with kindness and respect.
The family said after his killing: 'He was a brilliant man, recognising that the differences between people are vastly outweighed by our similarities.
'Asad left us a tremendous gift and we must continue to honour that gift by loving and taking care of one another.'
It had been feared his murder was a sectarian attack against the branch of Islam he followed.
There were claims Mr Shah was set upon because of his affiliation with the Ahmadi community, known for its non-violence and interfaith concerns.
The group has been persecuted by members of orthodox Islamic sects in Pakistan.
Mr Shah had previously been branded a 'false prophet' in two video posts in November 2014 by a Muslim group which views Ahmadi beliefs as heretical.
He was also said to have received online death threats.
Mr Shah was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
His customers and friends flocked to the store the day after the attack to lay flowers and tributes to the shopkeeper they described as a 'pillar of the community' and a 'wonderful and gentle man'.
A silent vigil was held outside his shop attended by hundreds of people including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.