Mohammed Saleem’s family mark fourth anniversary of his brutal murder
On April 29, 2003, Ukrainian white supremacist terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn stabbed and murdered Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem outside a mosque in Small Heath, in the hope of starting a race war.
The terror attack was the climax to a planned operation during which Lapshyn had planted bombs in three different mosques across the West Midlands, within five days of arriving in the country.
Lapshyn was a PhD student, in the UK on a work placement with software company Delcam, yet he concocted and executed a racist plot to target the Muslim community, which ultimately led to the brutal murder of Mohammed Saleem following prayers at Green Lane Mosque.
82-year-old Saleem was a grandfather of 22 and a respected member of the community in Birmingham’s Small Heath area.
The slaughter left his loved ones devastated and, after a lengthy investigation, Lapshyn was caught, tried and imprisoned. However, the victims family were left without a husband, a father and a grandfather.
Four years on, his family continue to grieve the loss of a figure and a popular Samaritan in the city.
Yesterday, members of Mohammed Saleem’s family were joined at a special anniversary event paying tribute to him. The gathering was held in Balsall Heath and organised by MEND, the Muslim Engagement and Development organisation.
Speakers discussed events surrounding the terrorist incident and its aftermath, touching on Islamophobia and racism and the rise of the far-right in the UK and Europe. They also drew parallels with the murders of Lee Rigby and Jo Cox.
Maz Saleem, daughter of the late Mohammed Saleem and an anti-racism campaigner, reflected on the anniversary: