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6th January 2011
SALMAN TASEER KILLED BY A FOLLOWER OF FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAM
The moderate Governor of Punjab, now assassinated, of the governing PPP, tweeted this on New Year’s Eve:
“I was under huge pressure sure 2 cow down b4 rightest pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing”
We should ALL mourn for this man.
What do the loony left, those who still proclaim moral equivalence of all religions, have to say about the horrific murder of one of Pakistan’s few moderate and liberal-minded political leaders? If they are what they say they are – moderate, liberal and freedom-loving – he should be their new hero. A man standing up for women’s rights, even Christian women’s rights in a deeply patriarchal and conservative Muslim country. A man opposed to Pakistan’s extreme blasphemy laws. Laws which say that execution is the penalty for insulting the name of Mohammed.
I await with bated breath their discourse on this cold-blooded murder. I don’t expect it’ll be long before we have half of them yelling in their inimitable and ignorant way that it was Bush & Blair wot dunnit.
FORGET IRAN – for the moment – PAKISTAN IS A POLITICAL BASKET CASE
Pakistan is also a nuclear power, and it could be about to explode.
Mr Taseer’s killer was one of his own trusted bodyguards. Not content with using one or two bullets, this man pumped 27 bullets into the politician’s body. One is usually enough to kill. Even a hard-nosed politician!
IGNORE QADRI. HE’S ONLY DOING WHAT WE’D ALL LIKE TO DO
No-one, it seems, tried to stop Mumtaz Qadri from his spraying of bullets for Islam. No-one even took a defensive shot at him. Even in the time it took him to re-load his gun, not one other bodyguard was sufficiently affronted by this abhorrent act to attempt to defend Mr Taseer, or to stop Qadri’s onslaught – a hail of a dozen bullets – into the body of this brave politician.
DEFEND QADRI, HE HAS ONLY DONE WHAT WE’D ALL LIKE TO HAVE DONE
When this murderer – hardly “alleged” since he was caught red-handed – appeared in court today he was showered with rose petals by LAWYERS present!
Pakistan’s Young Lawyers have already decided to offer their service in defense of Qadri FREE. He has been hailed by many university students as a hero for killing a liberal-minded politician.
QADRI IS A
NAZI sorry – GHAZI (Islamic Warrior)
Interesting word that – Ghazi. Don’t you think? Wonder when it was coined?
Qadri is one of them, it seems. So says a statement issued by the Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan. It was endorsed by the grouping’s ‘ameer’ or chief Syed Mazhar Saeed Shah Kazmi and over 500 scholars and clerics like Allama Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri and Pir Ghulam Siddiq Naqshbandi.
And, just to straighten our sweet little heads on why Taseen was killed for “blasphemy”, is added for the flavour, that those “favouring the person who indulged in blasphemy are themselves blasphemous.”
Paying tribute to Taseer’s assassin and his courage, the statement described Qadri as a lover of the prophet Mohammed and a ‘Ghazi’ or Islamic warrior. (sourced from Jihad Watch)
If this isn’t a basket case of a country, Benazir Bhutto still walks the streets.
And even after he was dead these Pakistanis felt compelled to defame his picture and his memory with spray and primitive shoe-hammering.
Before Mr Taseer’s funeral yesterday 500 Islamic scholars also praised his killer and told Muslims not to mourn for him. According to reports not everyone was listening. But one day soon, given proper investigative journalism, we might get a better idea of how many mourned and how many cheered. That’s important in that country of 170 million people. On that answer depends its future.
Picture above from DayLife
This video was posted at the AlJazeeraEnglish YouTube channel, and the reporter was Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder.
So let me get this straight.
Did Mr Taseer blaspheme against Mohammed, Allah, Islam? No.
But was he standing up in support of a Christian woman who has been sentenced to death for insulting Mohammed, a charge she denied. Yes.
So for that he had to die? Yes. So it seems, given the support his killer is receiving in that blighted land.
I realise that my attempt to get it straight will mean little to those who see guilt by association. But perhaps now, or some time soon, the Guardianistos of this world, the lefty broadcasters, the so-called feminists and the so-called freedom-lovers will start to re-think their position on Islam as a concept – even as a “religion”. Even questioning it, as do I, would be a start.
TASEER KNEW THE RISKS – AND STILL TOOK THEM
And he paid the ultimate price for his principles.
Mr Taseer was a man standing up in support of a Christian woman. Standing against sharia law. He knew the risks he was taking and had spoken about them recently. He said he’d fight on if he was the last man standing. Unfortunately he wasn’t the last man standing. He is unlikely to be the last man dying for freedom, justice and civilised behaviour.
Sadly his murder is likely to intimidate many other political voices from speaking out in Pakistan. Perhaps not only in Pakistan.
If only this extremely secular, non-murdering agnostic was sure that God exists, I’d say God rest your good, good soul, Mr Taseer. I’ll say it anyway, in case.
You are a martyr to the cause of freedom from oppression, and in particular freedom from oppression for women.
Rest in peace.
The Guardian reported on this murder, excerpt follows:
“… there should be no expression of grief or sympathy on the death of the governor, as those who support blasphemy of the prophet are themselves indulging in blasphemy.”
In Islamabad, police and intelligence officials continued to question Mumtaz Qadri, the police guard who shot Taseer as he stepped into his car outside a shopping market in central Islamabad on Tuesday.
I know I don’t have much good to say about The Guardian these days. But this report by Declan Walsh in Lahore is an exception: Guardian: ‘A divided Pakistan buries Salman Taseer and a liberal dream’
Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing ‘western’ ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species
Taseer’s crime, in Qadri’s eyes, was to advocate reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Few other Pakistani politicians dared to speak against the law, which prescribes the death penalty for offenders yet is widely misused. Those who did now live in fear.
Since Taseer’s death party supporters have burned tyres and chanted the old slogans: “Jiye Bhutto!” and “If you kill one Bhutto another will rise!” Party leaders painted Taseer’s death as part of a “conspiracy”. “We need to find out if this is an attempt to destabilise Pakistan,” said law minister Babar Awan, announcing the inevitable judicial enquiry.
But the tired rhetoric masked a less palatable truth: that Taseer had been abandoned by his own leadership. After Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws on 8 November, Taseer visited her in jail with his wife and daughter to show his support.
Shortly after, an Islamic mob rioted outside the governor’s house in Lahore, burning his effigy and calling for his death. On television prominent media commentators joined the chorus of criticism.
Senior figures in his own party turned tail. Awan, the law minister, said there was no question of reforming the blasphemy law. “As long as I am law minister no one should think of finishing this law,” he said on 26 November. Another minister confirmed that position one week ago.
The U-turn was the product of a huge miscalculation. At the start of the Aasia Bibi affair on 8 November, President Asif Ali Zardari suggested he might pardon the Christian woman if she was convicted. But he stalled, apparently hoping to extract political mileage from the affair.
Then on 29 November the Lahore high court, which had a history of antagonism with Zardari, issued an order forbidding him from issuing a pardon. The issue became a political football, a struggle between the government, the courts and the mullahs. Zardari was powerless to act.
And the Punjab governor was left swinging in a lonely wind.
In his last television interview, on 1 January, Taseer said it had been his “personal decision” to support Aasia Bibi. “I went to see her with my wife and daughter. Some have supported me; other are against me […] but if I do not stand by my conscience, then who will?”
Yesterday on Twitter, the medium beloved of Salman Taseer, liberal Pakistanis bemoaned the disappearance of “Jinnah’s Pakistan” – the tolerant, pluralistic country envisioned by its founder, the lawyer Muhammad ali Jinnah, in 1947. Others tried to remember if it had ever existed.
And in the streets outside Pakistan’s silent majority – the ordinary, moderate people who do not favour extremism or violence, and only want their society to thrive – were saying nothing. But in Pakistan, that is no longer good enough. Silence kills.
A very human view
Salman Taseer was one of Pakistan’s most prolific and popular tweeters, on everything from politics to cricket, revealing a very human view of the country’s troubles. Here are some of his more recent tweets:
31 December: Peace prosperity & happiness for new year ( 1 1 11 ) i’m full of optimism
31 December: I was under huge pressure sure 2 cow down b4 rightest pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing
26 December: Religous right trying 2 pressurise from the street their support of blasphemy laws. Point is it must be decided in Parlaiment not on the road
24 December: Covered in the righteous cloak of religon and even a puny dwarf imagines himself a monster . Important to face. And call their bluff
24 December: My observation on minorities: A man/nation is judged by how they support those weaker than them not how they lean on those stronger
19 December: So Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame has been chosen 4 Time Magazine man of the Year. Hmm . Guess I’ll have to wait till next year
- Wall Street Journal – “One radical cleric offered $6,000 to anyone who would kill Ms. Bibi”
- The body of Salman Taseer can be seen at this Reuters video channel
- More pictures from the attack scene
- Youtube video reporting the assassination, from a Pakistan news channel
Excerpt – In November 2010, Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by hanging on a charge of blasphemy; the case that has yet to be upheld by the Lahore High Court has sparked international reactions.
- Read the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860)
- History, geography and background of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Yes, there are at least two Islamic Republics, didn’t you know?
- Background to Pakistan’s present crisis
An intriguing video interview with Taseer, where he alternates between Urdu and English.
- Muslim immigrant father in Arizona kills daughter in honour killing
- A despairing cry – ‘Half of the world cannot go to war‘
- ISLAMABAD: An emperor, a president, a prime minister and now a governor have been betrayed in history by the very ones who were supposed to be protecting them, said a news report
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
“All countries need a leader who isn’t afraid to fight terrorism. I believe Mr. Blair did a necessary job in helping his allies. Are we all just supposed to lie down and wait for them to come for us, I don’t think so.”
And – “Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the privilege of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”
AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”
AND – “I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is an honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”
Tags: 27 bullets, Aasia Bibi, assassination, Benazir Bhutto, court, Governor of Punjab Pakistan, lawyers, lawyers support killer, Mumtaz Qadri, murder, Pakistan, Politics of Pakistan, Punjab Pakistan, Qadiriyyah, rose petals, Salmaan Taseer, Salman Taseer, Tony Blair