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CUSAS Talk: Dr Nicholas Evans

When Mar 02, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Edmund Leach Seminar Room, Division of Social Anthropology
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Dr Nicholas Evans: Heresy and hatred: what a murder in Glasgow might tell us about religious doubt in a Punjabi town

On 24th March 2016, a taxi driver from Bradford drove to Glasgow, and in a pre-meditated attack, stabbed a local shopkeeper to death. Both men were Muslims, but the victim, Asad Shah, was a member of a minority community - the Ahmadiyya - who have suffered decades of violent persecution in Pakistan. This paper examines community reactions to the incident, the court case that convicted Tanveer Ahmed of murder, and ultimately, the process by which the humble shopkeeper Asad Shah came to be seen as the first Ahmadi martyr in Britain. I will show how, during this case, all was not quite as it seemed in public reports, and how the complexities of Shah's murder and his subsequent elevation to the status of martyr might be able to tell us something about religious doubt in a Punjabi village many thousands of miles away from Scotland.

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