Over 500, that’s five hundred, Muslim scholars, who are considered moderates, are praising the body guard who murdered Pakistan’s Punjab governor, Salman Taseer, over his opposition to the country’s severe blasphemy laws. Cheering lawyers showered flowers on the killer, Mumtaz Qadri,as he was fescorted into court.
Taseer has been criticized, by moderate Muslims, for his support of Asia Bibi, the mother of small children who has been imprisoned for a year for allegedly blaspheming the “prophet” Muhammad, and a majority of Pakistanis want her executed.
This is moderate Islam. From MSNBC:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Lawyers showered the suspected assassin of a liberal Pakistani governor with rose petals as he entered court. Some 170 miles away, the prime minister joined thousands to mourn the loss of the politician, who dared to challenge the demands of Islamic extremists.
The cheers and tears across the country Wednesday underscored Pakistan’s journey over the past several decades from a nation defined by moderate Islam to one increasingly influenced by fundamentalists willing to use violence to impose their views.
Even so-called moderate Muslim scholars praised 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri for allegedly killing Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer on Tuesday in a hail of gunfire while he was supposed to be protecting him as a bodyguard. Qadri later told authorities he acted because of Taseer’s vocal opposition to blasphemy laws that order death for those who insult Islam.
As Qadri was escorted into court in Islamabad, a rowdy crowd patted his back and kissed his cheek as lawyers at the scene threw flowers. On the way out, some 200 sympathizers chanted slogans in his favor, and the suspect stood at the back door of an armored police van and repeatedly yelled “God is great.”
Many other Pakistanis were appalled.
The response from the United States Secretary of State Clinton has been very weak, no mention of the horrific acts being committed in the name of religion, no mention of blasphemy laws, only a generic ‘we-will-help-them-in-their-time-of-turmoil’ bullshit. Here is a good WashTimes editorial on it.
Pakistan is one of several Islamic countries that is pushing for a global blasphemy laws, sponsored by Morocco, at the United Nations. Support is waning, yet it remains a threat to freedom of speech as it has just passed a non-binding resolution in favor by a vote of 76-64 with 42 abstentions. Even though support has gone down from last year’s vote of 81-55/43, this is bad, very bad. Language has been changed from “defamation” to “vilification” in order to gain support from Western nations. The General Assembly is expected to adopt the resolution next month.
The text, submitted by Morocco on behalf of Muslim states, said the assembly “urges all States to provide … adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from vilification of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general.”
Why? So religions can continue their acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion that they practice on a daily basis around the globe? The only way religion can stand up is to snuff out criticism and threaten violence if questioned.
Religion gets vilified because religion is the villain; and religions consistently vilify other religions as well as the non-religious. Religions consistently threaten each other and non-believers.
Religious freedom can only survive in a secular government’ religion cannot be allowed to be exempt from criticism, which is the exact effect of blasphemy laws.