Earlier this year there was a murder that shocked Britain. Just before Easter, a 40-year old shopkeeper in Glasgow, Asad Shah, was repeatedly stabbed in his shop; he died in the road outside. The news immediately went out that this was a religiously-motivated attack. But the type of religiously motivated attack it was came as a surprise to most of Britain.
There is so much attention paid to the idea of “Islamophobia” in the country that many people — including some Muslim groups — immediately assumed that the killing of Asad Shah was an “Islamophobic” murder. It turned out, however, that the man who had been detained by police — and this week sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison for the murder — was also a Muslim.
Mr Shah was an Ahmadiyya Muslim — that is, a member of the peaceable Islamic sect which is dismissed as “heretical” by many Muslims. Mr Shah’s murderer, on the other hand, was a Sunni Muslim, Tanveer Ahmed, who had travelled up from Bradford to kill Mr Shah because he believed Mr Shah had “disrespected the Prophet Mohammed.” At this point the comfortable narratives of modern Britain began to fray.