A "Happy Easter" greeting to Christians posted on the Facebook page of a well-liked Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow, Scotland is being eyed by the police as the trigger that led to his murder.
In what turned out to be his last Facebook post, Asad Shah, 40, wrote on Thursday last week: "GOOD FRIDAY AND VERY HAPPY EASTER ESPECIALLY TO MY BELOVED CHRISTIAN NATION X ! Lets Follow The Real Footstep Of Beloved Holy JESUS CHRIST (PBUH) And Get The Real Success In Both Worlds xxxx," the Washington Post reported.
That night, somebody fatally stabbed the shopkeeper. He was found lying in a pool of blood on the road near his store and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital shortly after, according to the BBC.
The Glasgow police said they are trying to unravel the "religious prejudice" that might have motivated Shah's killing. They have arrested a suspect who, they said, might have been angered by Shah's frequent posting on Facebook about his "heretical" faith.
The 32-year-old man who has been arrested and charged with the murder is a Sunni Muslim, the largest denomination of Islam.
Shah and his family are members of the Ahmadiyya community, an Islamic sect that stresses religious tolerance but is often seen as heretical by mainstream Muslims. Their faith preaches "love for all, hatred for none," Newsmax reported.
Citing an unnamed police source, the Scottish Daily Record reported that Shah's alleged killer might have driven 200 miles from Bradford, in England, just to silence him for good for posting heretical religious messages on social media.
Shah's death is being deeply mourned by residents in his neighbourhood who admired him for his friendly and caring manners.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said, "A palpably good man has died for no reason."
Shah was a Pakistani immigrant who wholeheartedly embraced Scotland, his adopted home. The banner image on his Facebook page is a white and blue road sign that reads "Welcome to Scotland."
He was known by neighbours as a devout Muslim who happily wished his Christian customers well on their holidays. Some remember his as a shopkeeper who took the time to learn the name of every teenager who stopped into his store.
"You could be any colour, that would not be an issue for him, he just cared too much," 17-year-old Aleesa Malik told the BBC. "He would want to know how are you, what are you doing. He took an interest in everyone's lives — old, young, anyone."
Because of his friendly and caring manners, neighbours even jokingly changed the name of their neighbourhood from Shawlands to Shahlands, according to the Telegraph.
Isabella Graham, whose daughter once worked for Shah in his shop, told the BBC he was an "amazing, wonderful man."
"Nobody in Shawlands would have a bad word to say about him," she continued. "I can't believe he's gone."