August 9, 2016 / 3:43 PM / 3 years ago

'Religious disrespect' killer gets life sentence in Scotland

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A man was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for murdering a Muslim Glasgow shopkeeper he had accused of religious disrespect in an attack of “merciless violence.”

The stabbing to death of 40-year-old Asad Shah, who had just posted a message of religious tolerance on social media during Easter week, shocked the multi-ethnic Shawlands neighbourhood in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city.

“ ... this was a barbaric, premeditated and wholly unjustified killing of a much loved man who was a pillar of the local community,” Judge Lady Rae said in a statement. “He is described as a peaceful and peace-loving family man who went out of his way to show respect for those of any faith,” she added.

The judge, who imposed a minimum jail term of 27 years at the High Court in Glasgow, branded the attack as “an appalling display of merciless violence”.

Sunni Muslim Tanveer Ahmed from Bradford in Yorkshire, had earlier pleaded guilty to the murder, which exposed divisions in Britain’s Muslim community. Shah was an Ahmadi, a minority not recognised by all Muslims.

Ahmed had said he had acted on conviction that Shah had disrespected the message of the Prophet Mohammad, the judge said, and had expressed no remorse for his crime.

“It is clear that you are proud of what you did and you do not consider what you did was wrong,” she added.

Reporting By Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Stephen Addison

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