For once, all the pretenses of tolerance and innocence are off. The governor of Pakistan Punjab Salmaan Taseer was gunned down in broad daylight in a market by his own bodyguard for his support to a victim of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are often a tool of persecution of minorities.
As the world and moderates in Pakistan look on in horror, the true face of the power driving Pakistan gets unveiled.
The killer, who basically slaughtered the man by turning his automatic rifle on him at point blank range and emptying his magazine into the governor is a hero in the eyes of many. His Facebook page was up before the news of the death was fully out, and within no time at all had over 1000 likes. People talk about how he had committed no crime before this, and how he turned himself in to his companions once the governor fell.
The government was pushing to amend the black law, but now apparently doesn’t have a problem with it. Bloggers are abuzz with pain and condemnation, PPP activists are out enforcing a strike, and we can no longer pretend that Pakistan holds values compatible with ours. The government as usual has bowed to the pressure from the extremists, and what pressure it is! More than 500 scholars from Barelvi school of thought pay rich tributes to the assassin of Salmaan Taseer.
JASP issued a statement
“No Muslim should attend the funeral or even try to pray for Salmaan Taseer or even express any kind of regret or sympathy over the incident.”
The killer apparently is linked with Dawat-i-Islami – a supposedly non-political and non-violent religious group. This man has no criminal record, is devout, non-violent (!), is devout and prays five times a day. I think it can be said to be proven that absolutely normal Muslims are capable of killing without regret over disagreement.
The astonishing thing is that this guy had apparently told his colleagues what he planned to do and asked them not to shoot him because he wanted to be captured alive and that he would lay down his weapon once the governor was dead!!!
And thus it happened. He was indeed not harmed, just arrested. His photos show him smiling, unhurt, unhassled by any police near him. So its not like one stray guard, but an entire team complicit in this murder. Is anyone at all safe in Pakistan?
We can once and for accept that Islam is incompatible with the world. Not because all Muslims are evil – they are not, but because evil monsters run this religion and they run it like a mafia, influencing people in the name of religion to do barbaric acts. Perhaps, in the interest of all humanity, it is time to announce that any Muslim who cannot live with principles of equality and mutual dignity or who condones violence for any reason should not attempt to be part of non-Muslim societies.
This incident is good in the sense that all the venom is out in the open. Visible. Something can be done. The pretense that everything was fine and that Pakistan holds modern values is out the window.
There is so much buzzing around in my mind, but I have no words to commment that would do justice.
Suffice it to say that the person who got killed is irrelevant. Pakistan died as a country.
The much troubled Zardari has to now cope with the loss of a pillar of his party as it faces the possibility of going out of power or bending to Nawaz Sharif’s will. For all he is criticized, I can’t but help see that he seems to have a conscience, humility and the big heart it takes to go on fearing for his life, and still standing there and taking the hatred from all while battling conditions he didn’t create alone.
I hope this incident helps the thinking people left in Pakistan to see what they are doing with their country through unquestioning silence as the extremist voices get louder.
Of concern to the world is the fact that Islamic organizations around the world have not said a word against this atrocity. This could mean one of two things. The first being that they agree with the monsters in Pakistan. The second would be that they disagree, but don’t have the guts to come out and say it for fear of backlash among extremists in their own populations. In any case, I don’t believe that they didn’t notice. I don’t believe that this kind of thinking is limited to Pakistan.
What was not said is a chilling warning about the spread of extremism worldwide.
- Key Pakistani Governor Killed by Own Bodyguard (newsweek.com)
- Assassin of Pakistani Governor Driven by Belief in Blasphemy Laws (waronterrornews.typepad.com)