A taxi driver charged with the murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah has admitted he carried out the killing because Mr Shah had “disrespected the Prophet Muhammad”.
Tanveer Ahmed, 32, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, is accused of killing Asad Shah, 40, outside his convenience store in Glasgow’s Shawlands area almost two weeks ago.
Ahmed made no plea when he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday for a full committal hearing.
Tributes left to Asad Shah outside his shop in Shawlands, Glasgow (PA). The Crown Office said he was remanded in custody and is due to appear at the High Court in Glasgow at a later date.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, he issued a highly unusual statement through his lawyer, John Rafferty, where he said he killed Mr Shah because he “disrespected” the Prophet Muhammad and “claimed to be a Prophet” himself.
The statement said: “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 1400 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 profits 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”.
However, he said the murder had “nothing at all to do with Christianity” after earlier reports suggested Mr Shah had been killed because he wished people a “Happy Easter” on social media shortly before his death.
He said: “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.”
During the police investigation, officers claimed the incident was “religiously motivated” and confirmed both Ahmed and Mr Shah were Muslims.
Mr Shah belonged to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam, a group known for their non-violence and focus on interfaith co-operation.
Some Muslims consider Ahmadiyyas to be heretics and the sect have been banned from referring to themselves as Muslims by the constitution of Pakistan – where Mr Shah was born.
Mr Shah was well respected in his local community with thousands turning out to a silent, candlelight vigil outside his shop in his memory shortly after his death.