Socialist Worker

Man convicted of racist murder in Birmingham

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2376

A man has been convicted of the racist murder of 82 year old grandfather Mohammed Saleem and a number of mosque bombings.

Mohammed’s son, Shahid, told Socialist Worker at the time that Mohammed died after “he was brutally attacked and stabbed from behind.” as he walked home from evening prayers on 29 April near his home in Birmingham.

Initially Mohammed’s family was angry with the police investigation. Sahid said “When we raised with the police that this might be racist they went cold on us.”

But Pavlo Lapshyn, who admitted the murder told police “I have a racial hatred, so I have a motivation, a racial motivation.”

Shazia Khan, Saleem’s daughter, spoke for the family after the conviction, she said her father “was targeted simply because of his faith. “His beard and his clothing represented who he was.”

Lapshyn admitted he was also responsible for bombing mosques including a nail bomb outside Tipton mosque on the same day as the funeral of soldier Lee Rigby.

At the time the bomb went off the mosque usually would have been pakced with worshippers, but prayers has been put back an hour.

Police dismissed the idea that Lapshyn was influenced by far right groups claiming he was “self radicalised”.

But they said they found “extremist” material on his laptop including the Turner Diaries, right wing publication predicting a race war in the US.

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Tue 22 Oct 2013, 16:40 BST
Issue No. 2376
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