A CAMPAIGN to create a memorial honouring Muslim shopkeeper Asad Shah who died in an alleged religiously motivated attack has secured the backing of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The death of the popular 40-year-old earlier this week plunged the Shawlands district of Glasgow into mourning and prompted a deluge of floral tributes by grieving residents.

The Herald:

Mr Shah has been described as a pillar of the community who was selfless and generous with his customers.

He was allegedly killed hours after posting a greeting on social meeting saying: “Good Friday and very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation.”

It is understood a string of former customers and friends are now campaigning for a permanent memorial to be put up in Waverley Gardens, yards from where Mr Shah was attacked.  

A member of Mr Shah’s family, who asked not to be identified, indicated they would be happy to discuss the idea of a permanent memorial with local politicians and described the idea as a “nice gesture”. 

The Herald:

Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, has joined the clamour for a lasting tribute. He said: “Mr Shah was quite simply a wonderful man – and the south side has been robbed of one of our dearest friends. A local memorial that allows us to remember our friend is a wonderful idea and I support it wholeheartedly.”

Ms Sturgeon, who is the local MSP, added her voice to calls for a memorial.

“I think this is a lovely idea and it has my full support,” she said. 

“It’s clear how much affection and respect local people had for Mr Shah and it would be a fitting tribute to the impact he had on so many lives.”

Councillor Norman McLeod said he had been approached by “a number of people anxious to discuss some form of permanent memorial”.

He has arranged a meeting with Glasgow City Council’s head of parks and environment.

Mr McLeod said: “The response over Asad Shah has shown the people of Glasgow at their very best in the intense sorrow they expressed and all the support shown to his family. 

“The idea of an appropriate memorial has my wholehearted support.”

There was an outpouring of grief following the death of Mr Shah, with a vigil attracting more than 500 people held on March 25. The following day more than 150 people attended a second vigil organised by local teenagers. 

A fundraising website set up by customers of Shah’s Newsagent’s and Convenience Store in Minard Road has recorded donations to Mr Shah’s family totalling £111,000.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “The council has received a request from residents and is meeting next week to discuss how an appropriate memorial for Asad Shah could be arranged.”