Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Pakistani Governor Assassinated For Opposing Blasphemy Law

"...this is the punishment for a blasphemer."

Stick this one in the bulging file entitled, "One reason why there aren't that many moderate Muslims":

The influential governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, has died after being shot by one of his bodyguards in the capital, Islamabad.

Mr Taseer, a senior member of the Pakistan People's Party, was shot when getting into his car at a market.

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.

Many were angered by his defence of a Christian woman sentenced to death....

At a news conference, Mr Malik said: "The police guard who killed him says he did this because Mr Taseer recently defended the proposed amendments to the blasphemy law."....

Mr Taseer made headlines recently by appealing for the pardon of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Friends of the governor say he knew he was risking his life by speaking out....

The interior minister later identified the murder suspect as Malik Mumtaz Hussein Qadri, who he said had escorted the governor from the city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday as he had done on five or six previous occasions.

Mr Qadri was 26 years old and from Barakhao, a town on the outskirts of Islamabad, he added. He was recruited as a police constable, and transferred to the Elite Force after commando training in 2008.

"Salman Taseer is a blasphemer and this is the punishment for a blasphemer," Mr Qadri said in comments broadcast on Dunya television....

Indeed it is. Take, for example, this scholarly opinion by the influential Qadi Iyad (d.1149):

Know that all who curse Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or blame him or attribute imperfection to him in his person, his lineage, his deen [religion] or any of his qualities, or alludes to that or its like by any means whatsoever, whether in the form of a curse or contempt or belittling him or detracting from him or finding fault with him or maligning him, the judgement regarding such a person is the same as the judgement against anyone who curses him. He is killed [emphasis added] as we shall make clear. This judgement extends to anything which amounts to a curse or disparagement. We have no hesitation concerning this matter, be it a clear statement or allusion.

The same applies to anyone who curses him, invokes against him, desires to harm him, ascribes to him what does not befit his position or jokes about his mighty affair with foolish talk, satire, disliked words or jies, or reviles him because of any affliction or trial which happened to him or disparages him, because of any of the permissible and well-known human events which happened to him. All of this is the consensus of the 'ulama' [scholars] and the imams of fatwa from the time of the Companions until today."

Most Islamic legal theorists and scholars agree. The only major school of thought that does not is the Hanafi school, but this is not because of any kind of "Islamic tolerance". Rather, the assumption is that blasphemy is an inherent part of disbelief, and since unbelievers are already being punished by being made dhimmis, further punishment is not necessary. Hardly open-minded, really.

These are the realities of Islam, and it's not just Christians who are suffering because of them. As this story demonstrates, Muslims are as well. But that probably won't stop them from blaming the Jews anyway.

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