Only six years ago today, Ukrainian white supremacist terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn stabbed and murdered Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem outside a mosque in Small Heath, within five days of arriving in the country.

The savagery and viciousness of the unprovoked and premeditated assault shocked the city, and left a community in mourning.

Mohammed Saleem with his wife Said BegumSupplied
Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem with his wife Said Begum

The attack was part of a carefully planned terrorist operation, during which Lapshyn had planted bombs in three different mosques across the West Midlands, in the hope of starting a race war.

Lapshyn was a PhD student from Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine, 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.

Saleem had been walking alone near his Small Heath home when he was spotted by Lapshyn, who was carrying a knife. Lapshyn later told detectives that he decided to kill Saleem because he “was a Muslim and there were no witnesses.” Lapshyn stabbed Saleem three times in the back.

The Ukrainian student has since been jailed for at least 40 years, after being caught and admitting murder as well as plotting to cause explosions near mosques in Walsall, Tipton and Wolverhampton in June and July 2013. At the Old Bailey, he was sentenced to be jailed for life.

White supremacist terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn murdered pensioner Mohammed Saleem in the hope of creating a 'race war'
White supremacist terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn murdered pensioner Mohammed Saleem in the hope of sparking a ‘race war’

 


How Birmingham came together…

82-year-old Saleem was a grandfather of 22 and a respected member of the community in Birmingham’s Small Heath area.

The callous slaughter of the pensioner 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.

Following his murder, an initial police investigation was criticised by family members for failing to identify the attack as a hate crime. Community vigils in the city added pressure and eventually the attack was viewed from a racially and religiously motivated perspective. This led to the discovery of the failed mosque bomb attacks, which would have left hundred of casualties had they succeeded.

Mohammed Saleem's family and community members gather for a peace vigil in Small Heath following his brutal murderAdam Yosef
Mohammed Saleem’s family and community members gather for a peace vigil in Small Heath following his brutal murder

In the days following Mohammed Saleem’s death, the community came together to urge unity and resilience. Speakers at the event included community activisy Shabrez Ahmed, councillor Waseem Zaffar, interfaith worker Dr Andrew Smith, Bostan Ahmed from the Smethwick Youth Council, Superintendent Alex Murray of the West Midlands Police and Gerald Nembhard from West Midlands Faith Forum.

Here’s a look back at the community vigil for Mohammed Saleem:

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Adam Yosef

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Candles and flowersAdam Yosef

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Chief Superintendent Alex Murray Adam Yosef

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A candle-lit vigil held in Small Heath, Birmingham, following the racist murder of pensioner Mohammed SaleemAdam Yosef

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Chief Superintendent Alex Murray Adam Yosef

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Dr Andrew SmithAdam Yosef

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Candles and flowers Adam Yosef

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Tribute messageAdam Yosef

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Bostan AhmedAdam Yosef

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Tribute message Adam Yosef

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Cllr Waseem ZaffarAdam Yosef

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Mohammed Saleem was murdered by a racist neo-Nazi as he left morning prayers at Green Lane Mosque in Small heath, BirminghamAdam Yosef

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Green Lane Masjid Mosque Adam Yosef

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Tribute message condolencesAdam Yosef

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Tribute message condolencesAdam Yosef

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Gerald Nembhard of West Midlands Three Faiths Forum Adam Yosef

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Mohammed Saleem's family and community members gather for a peace vigil in Small Heath following his brutal murderAdam Yosef

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Tribute message condolencesAdam Yosef

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Vigil organiser Shabraz AhmedAdam Yosef

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Little Green Lane road signAdam Yosef

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Green Lane Masjid Mosque Adam Yosef

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Police walking patrolling Green Lane Masjid Mosque Adam Yosef

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West Midlands Police WMP with Muslim CommunityAdam Yosef

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West Midlands Police WMP with Muslim CommunityAdam Yosef

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Muslims making dua prayersAdam Yosef

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Muslims making dua prayersAdam Yosef

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Tribute message condolencesAdam Yosef

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West Midlands Police WMP with Muslim CommunityAdam Yosef

RELATED | Mohammed Saleem’s family mark sixth anniversary of his brutal murder by neo-Nazi 

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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Mohammed-Saleem-Vigil-in-Small-Heath-in-2013-I-Am-Birmingham-09j-800x466.pnghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Mohammed-Saleem-Vigil-in-Small-Heath-in-2013-I-Am-Birmingham-09j-300x175.pngStaff ReporterCommunityCrimeFaithNewsPoliticsRacismWorldAnniversary,Attack,attack racist murder,B'ham,Birmingham,Brum,brutal murder,Crime,far-right,GLM,Green Lane,Green Lane Masjid,Green Lane Mosque,Hate Crime,Islamophobia,Little Green Lane,Maz Saleem,Mohammed Saleem,Mosque,murder,Pavlo Lapshyn,pensioner,race war,Racism,racist attack,remembrance,Saleem,six years on,Small Heath,Terror,Terror Attack,Terror Terro,Terrorism,terrorist,terrorist terrorist,Tribute,West Midlands,West Midlands Police,white supremacist,WM,WMPOnly six years ago today, Ukrainian white supremacist terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn stabbed and murdered Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem outside a mosque in Small Heath, within five days of arriving in the country. The savagery and viciousness of the unprovoked and premeditated assault shocked the city, and left a community in mourning. The attack...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham