This is Pakistan, reporting from the abyss it has just been pushed into.
Taseer’s assassination; even though assassination is too mild a word to describe it, the correct term should be cold-blooded murder at the hands of a Pakistani who has grown up and is continuously spoon-fed state and the right-wing religious lobby’s propaganda about Islam, blasphemy and secularism, is not the beginning of the end. This is the end. There is no going back from here, there is no miracle cure, there is no magic wand that will one day make everything better. Saying “enough is enough” does not cut it anymore, I think we can all agree that enough was enough ages ago, when the first murder under the garb of protecting Islam took place. With each bullet that deranged gunman pumped into Taseer’s body, with each person celebrating Taseer’s murder, with each person who has approved or justified his death on national TV, with each politician who promised that they would not change the law or allow it to be changed, the rape of humanity has been carried out, repeatedly.
Let me reiterate this: the Blasphemy Laws, in the form and shape that they are in today, are used as a tool for murder. For over 20 years, this law has led to the deaths of scores of people. Thousands have been persecuted under this law. Saying that does not make you any less of a Muslim, nor does it mean that you are insulting Islam.
But of course, as Ahsan at Five Rupees just pointed out : “Plenty of media personnel and right-wing politicians in this country contributed to this with their constant “wajib-ul-qatl” refrain, not to mention equating support for blasphemy laws to support for Islam. All of them could technically be dealt with as inciters to violence (illegal in our country, and basically every other one out there) but they won’t. You get to say and do whatever you want, act with as much impunity as you want — as long as you have God on your side.”
I’ll add to this – with every PPP politician who placated the religious right-wing and their former ally JUI-F that the Blasphemy Laws would not be amended: you have Taseer’s blood on your hands. Live with that.
I’d like to believe that Taseer’s death wasn’t in vain, that one day we will live in a country free of religious bigotry and incitement to murder, Blasphemy Laws and a right-wing that we’re held hostage to, but at this point, I think there’s a pool of blood at Kohsar Market that resembles the fate of those who would like to cherish this hope.