Thursday, 6 January 2011

(Not) Mourning Salman Taseer In Pakistan

Ignore the first half of this article from Associated Press, which is devoted to the Pakistani economy. Skip to paragraph ten, where we learn that as the man who assassinated Punjabi governor Salman Taseer for opposing the country's draconian blasphemy laws arrived at the court for his trial, "Around 100 Islamist students chanted slogans praising Qadri as he arrived at the court in an armored vehicle that had been showered with rose petals. 'Bravery, bravery! Qadri, Qadri!' they shouted."


An influential group of Muslim scholars affiliated with a historically moderate strain of Islam has also come out in support of the suspected killer and proclaimed that nobody should mourn Taseer's death.

That "moderate" group is Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan, which consists of over 500 Islamic scholars, who described the policeman who gunned down Taseer as a "Ghazi", or Islamic warrior, and have warned against any expression of sympathy for the slain PPP leader, saying it would in itself be tantamount to an act of blasphemy.

During Taseer's funeral yesterday, the imam of Lahore's Shahi Masjid and the cleric of the mosque at Governor's House refused to lead the prayer, apparently in protest against the governor's moderate views.

Isn't it odd that so many adherents of the Religion of Peace, including the most learned scholars and clerics, keep forgetting how wonderful and tolerant Islam is? Why is that?

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