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‘Blasphemer’ shot dead in Pakistan

‘Blasphemer’ shot dead in Pakistan

THE influential governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, died today after being shot by one of his bodyguards in the capital, Islamabad.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the guard had told police that he killed Mr Taseer because of the governor’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

Malik said:

The police guard who killed him says he did this because Mr Taseer recently defended the proposed amendments to the blasphemy law. This is what he told the police after surrendering himself. But we are investigating to find out whether it was his individual act or whether someone else was also behind it.

Mr Malik later identified the suspect as Malik Mumtaz Hussein Qadri, who he said had escorted the governor from Rawalpindi today as he had done on five to six previous occasions.

Governor Taseer, 66, was shot several times at close range by the Elite Force guard as he got into his car at the Kohsar Market, a shopping centre in Islamabad popular with Westerners and wealthy Pakistanis, Mr Malik said.

Qadri said in comments broadcast on Dunya television:

Salman Taseer is a blasphemer and this is the punishment for a blasphemer.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has declared three days of mourning. He also appealed for calm and ordered an immediate inquiry.

According to this BBC report, the killing was the most high profile assassination in Pakistan since the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the PPP’s leader, three years ago.

Ali Imran, a witness, told the Reuters news agency:

The governor fell down and the man who fired at him threw down his gun and raised both hands.

The interior minister said Mr Taseer’s Elite Force security detail was provided by the Punjab government, and that its members had been thoroughly screened. However, they have all been arrested as part of the investigation.

The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says Mr Taseer, a close associate of President Asif Ali Zardari, was one of Pakistan’s most important political figures and his death will further add to instability in the country.

Hat tip: M A Chohan

34 responses to “‘Blasphemer’ shot dead in Pakistan”

  1. Palaverer says:

    So much for blasphemy being a victimless crime. :{

  2. Mike says:

    Once again they prove that atheist are the more moral humans.

  3. Broga says:

    They don’t seem big enthusiasts for free speech or loyalty. Some ignorant clown decides he doesn’t like what you say and he murders you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh how awful. I feel like I’ve just been kicked in the stomach.

    Can’t unload the blame on Al-Qaeda for this one.

    …Holy crap this is such a mess. Pakistan needs intervention from UN Emergency Secularism Troops. (Do they have such a division yet?)
    http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/04/pakistan_s_dangerous_blasphemy_laws_claim_the_governor_of_punjab

    [On Dec 31] Tehreek Namoos-i-Risalat — an alliance of religious parties in defense of the Prophet Mohammad — demanded that the government dismiss Taseer and throw Rehman out of the party and the parliament.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What the everloving fuck?

    “We are with you Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri”
    http://www.facebook.com/Malik.Mumtaz.Qadri?v=wall

    “We Support the action of Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri and want that Supreme Court of Pakistan take immediate action against his arrest and order to free him.”
    Are these people serious?!?!

    (And isn’t Facebook still banned in Pakistan, from the Draw Mohammad event last summer?)

  6. Think or GTFO says:

    I guess religion does not make you a more moral person after all. Huh.

  7. Stonyground says:

    Surely this story is more evidence that the more religious a country is the more unpleasant it is to live in. the correlation between unbelief and quality of life really does need to be more widely publicised, if only to combat the old Stalin/Pol-Pot meme.

  8. Normand says:

    It boggles the mind! They wanted someone thrown in jail a while back because he threw a card with the name Mohammed in a wastepaper basket. So in their warped way of thinking isn’t it blasphemy also to throw out or destroy newspapers bearing the name Mohammed or to jail those named Mohammed when they are arrested for murder or rape, etc. I suppose they will say that it has never happened that someone named Mohammed has committed any crime whatsoever so maybe they can explain to me about newspapers being different from name card. It’s sad, really that in 2011 there are still people living in medieval times and while the rest of the world marches forward while they stagnate and even retrograde.

  9. David Anderson says:

    When it gets to the point that rational people like Taseer become too afraid to speak out the lunatics will take over the asylum. Of course, I don´t need to remind you that Pakistan has nuks.

  10. Marcus says:

    Now here’s a sobering thought, folks: this is a country that is not only abounding with religious lunatics, it is also home to a rather substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons. Put the two together and we might all be wondering why Marire Exley and her deranged chums (read previous article) didn’t even make it to 21st May.

  11. Har Davids says:

    I don’t know if I would have the balls to do what Salman Taseer did, trying to drag his country into the 21th century, but I guess he is someone we can call a hero without exaggerating.

  12. Les says:

    1500+ mosques here and still building…sharia law already being practiced in many towns, islamic ‘counter parliament’…you have been warned from Churchill to Powell…only a matter of time now…goodbye UK..you deserve it, you reap what you sow…now I would rather take my chances with the titanic!

  13. Don says:

    Damn, basic decency has you cut down by your own guards.

    What hope can there be, except that people like that know the risks and do it anyway.

  14. MrGronk says:

    Give religion an inch and it will always take a mile, and become more arrogant and demanding in the process. With enough pandering and appeasement a tipping point will finally be reached, and the religion will become out of control and murderous. This rule applies whether it’s the Muslims or the Moonies.

  15. NeoWolfe says:

    I just saw some of an interview of Imran Khan(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imran_Khan). His opinion is that radicalization of Pakistan is caused by drone attacks.

    Well, I recall that at the beginning of the Afghan War, it was revealed that at least two Pakistani nuclear scientists had met with Taliban leaders negotiating sale of technology. Suspicions remain that it was arranged by Pakistani intelligence. (http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=yhs-avg&type=yahoo_avg_hs2-tb-web_us&p=pakistani+intelligence+agency)

    At that time, then dictator, Perez Mushariff, publicly stated that American policy regarding Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attack. Yet, since then, Pakistan has been called an ally in the “war on terror”. I smelled shit since day one.

    Procrastination on dealing with radical Islamists hiding in the tribal regions. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto (http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0oGdUhfySNNaN4A7o5XNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGZyA3locy1hdmcEZnIyA3NhLWdwBGdwcmlkA0NPWjVPTUd2UnRpaTV3aXVQc18wZ0EEaG9zdHB2aWQDQTkyY05Fb0dkVEE2UmQueVN4d182UU42R0hkTTFFMGp5VjhBQTdRSwRuX2dwcwMxBG5fdnBzAzAEb3JpZ2luA3NycARwb3MDMQRwcXN0cgNiZW5pemVyZSAEcXVlcnkDYmVuYXppciBiaHV0dG8Ec2FjAzIEc2FvAzMEdnRlc3RpZANhdmc-?p=benazir%20bhutto&fr=yhs-avg&type=yahoo_avg_hs2-tb-web_us&fr2=sg-gac&sado=1&pqstr=benizere%20).

    And now this!!!! The evidence is in. Pakistan is a sweltering shitpile of radical islamists, sitting on nuclear weapons. Freethought, no matter how moderate or benign is dealt with by murder. Imagining them as allys in the “war on terror” is self delusion. It is the best financed hub of islamic terrorism on the planet, thanks to NATO payouts. A significant change of relationship is therefore called for.

    The only difference between Pakistan and Iran is that they already have the “bomb”.

    NeoWolfe

  16. Great Satan says:

    It looks like pro-freedom people in Pakistan will have to start turning the tables on the islamists and start forming anti-jihadi guerilla groups.

  17. barriejohn says:

    It’s Catch 22 again. Do nothing and get executed for blasphemy; speak out and get executed for opposing the law!

  18. MrGronk says:

    @Great Satan

    That would be great if it could happen. Sadly I think Yeats got it right about moderate people in an extremist situation: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”.

  19. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    I hate to generalise but it does appear more and more than islam and it’s followers have no part to play in western democracies. This is just the latest in a long sad line of islamist atrocities and shows, yet again how islam is intrinsically opposed to the very idea of democracy and free thought.

  20. Broga says:

    Graham Martin-Royle: The last thing they want is democracy and free thought. As usual hypocrisy reigns supreme and while they howl about really be a peaceful religion they stir up their idiot footsoldiers to do their dirty work for them. They pathetic clown who commited the murder presumably thinks he is headed for paradise with 72 virgins waiting for him. The instigators keep well out of the killing zone.

    On the subject of democracy the UK is scarcely a fit place from which to preach to others. Charles Windsor, the unelected and unelectable, heir to the throne and the Windsor fortunes, the result of no productive work and much favourable tax privilges, speaks enthusiastically about Islam.

  21. tony e says:

    Broga

    Re: Charles Windsor, I think Spike Milligan caught him perfectly when he called him a ‘grovelling little bastard,. Spot on.

  22. Broga says:

    tony e: I remember that. Charles Windsor was making a big deal of his enthusiasm for the Goons and Spike had had a gutful. I know I am hoping for the impossible but wouldn’t it be a most satisfying change if just one of the Windsor clan had the intelligence and moral courage to say, “I don’t believe all this religious nonsense. It makes no sense. I am atheist.” That might at least make a lot of people take a second look at what they are accepting.

    Instead they whore around, Charles and his mum are homeopathy enthusiasts, they play the religious game and Rowan Williams fiddles around to fit their behaviour into what he deems to be his religion.

  23. libhomo says:

    I’m glad to see that the commenters are sensible enough to realize that this is a general problem with religion, not just a particular mythological faith system.

  24. Broga says:

    libhomo: When fundamentalist christians drool with the hope that atheists will burn in hell, can we doubt that if they had the power and immunity they would torture and kill now. The RCs are ready to threaten terrible fates even to children who do not conform.

    You are right. The sickness of the superstition inflicted mind spreads everwhere.

  25. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Both Vincent Nichols and Il Papa have well and truly let the cat out of the bag with their comments about atheists being both not fully human and devoid of morality. It’s obvious what they’re really thinking.

  26. Broga says:

    barriejohn: But then as a young Hitler’s Youth trainee Ratzi would know the tactic of creating a group as sub-human and then crushing them. Ratzi’s morality, of course, is an invention all his own and his side kick Nichols is as phony as his boss.

  27. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Now that I am no longer a Christian it seems most strange to me that anyone would need a book to tell them what behaviour is moral and what is not, or that one would blindly follow that book’s teaching in the belief that whatever it said that was the right way to act!

  28. Broga says:

    barriejohn: Somebody said, “Bad people behave badly, good people behave well, but it takes religious belief to make a good person behave badly.”

  29. barriejohn says:

    It was Steven Weinberg who originated the saying, Broga:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Weinberg

  30. Broga says:

    Thanks barriejohn. I had better get the quote accurate – with your help. Looking at his biography he was one smart guy.

    His views on religion were expressed in a speech from 1999 in Washington, D.C.:

    “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. “[12]

  31. […] threats against Rehman came days after a police guard gunned down Punjab Governor Salman Taseer for criticising the blasphemy […]