Shopkeeper Killed by Muslim Extremist for Wishing Christians 'Happy Easter' on Facebook

Over $115,000 in Donations Raised to Support Slain Man's Family

Asad Shah
Asad Shah | (Photo: Facebook/Asad Shah)

A Muslim shopkeeper in Scotland is believed to have been stabbed to death by a fellow Muslim just hours after he posted a message on Facebook wishing Christians a happy Easter.

Asad Shah, 40, a member of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam, was found badly wounded near his shop in the Shawlands area of Glasgow Thursday night and was later pronounced dead after he arrived at nearby Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The fatal incident occurred just hours after the statement "Good Friday and very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation x!" was posted to a Facebook account that British media say belongs to the Pakistani-born Shah.

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"Lets Follow the Real Footstep of Beloved Holy JESUS CHIRST (PBUH) And Get the Real Success in Both Worlds," the Facebook post also stated.

BBC reports that local police have arrested an unnamed 32-year-old Sunni Muslim they believe was involved in the attack. The police also believe the killing was religiously motivated.

"A full investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances surrounding the death which is being treated as religiously prejudiced," a police spokeswoman stated.

A family friend the Shah's named Mohammad Faisal, who claims to have witnessed the incident, told the Daily Mail that a bearded man wearing a religious robe entered the shop and spoke to Shah in his native language before ultimately stabbing him in the head with a kitchen knife.

Faisal explained that Shah's brother, who was working next door when the stabbing happened, rushed to see the commotion and when he came out, he saw the suspect laughing while sitting on top of Shah's chest.

"The brother dragged Mr. Shah away but the guy continued attacking with the blade," Faisal said. "They struggled up to the bus stop where Asad collapsed."

Faisal believes that the attack was a result of the Facebook post.

"It was just a clear-cut revenge attack. For posting messages about peace, messages about greeting fellow Christians and Jews," he said. "That man must not have been too happy about what he was doing, what he was preaching. It was a well-planned attack. He must have been an extremist."

"He went straight for the head," Faisal added. "He got stomped on the head as well. His brother suffered a slash down his shoulder area because he attacked him with a knife as well."

Another eyewitness who was driving by at the time and chose to remain anonymous, told the Daily Record that she saw two perpetrators involved in the attack.

"One was stamping on his head," she explained. "There was a pool of blood on the ground. It was horrific."

A GoFundMe online crowdfunding page has been set up by a group of Shawland residents who got to know Shah as a kind peaceful man. The proceeds will go toward Shah's family.

In just over three days, the equivalent of over $116,000 dollars have been raised as of Monday afternoon.

"We are scared for our lives," Shah's brother was quoted as saying. "The police have told us to be careful about what we say and we do not want to give our names to protect our security."

"Mr. Shah was a popular, well respected and much loved member of our commuity [sic] and his death has devastated many," the donation page explains. "He was a warm and friendy [sic] man and he always went out of his way to make time to talk to you — he was more than just our local shopkeeper. He was a friend to many."

Following the murder, a floral tribute was placed at the scene of his murder and hundreds of people, including local politicians, took part in a vigil Friday night.

"It was very respectful. There were a lot of people clearly very upset. There were a lot of tears and lots and lots of flowers, Eildon Dyer, an organizer of the Vigil, told BBC. "Everybody has said he was the nicest man. He was clearly much-loved. Everybody had nice stories to tell about him and warm stories. It's just very, very sad."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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