Eight days.

Eight days ago, Salmaan Taseer was shot dead.

Eight days later, Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin, is being hailed as a hero and speeches lauding Qadri are being publicly made. Threats are hurled at anyone who condemns the blasphemy laws. Sections of the Urdu press find ways to explain how Taseer brought this upon himself. The Pakistan People’s Party co-chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari may have condemned the public wave of support for Qadri, but it does not change anything. The Prime Minister has announced that the blasphemy laws will not be changed. And Aasia Bibi, the woman who’s languishing in jail? She’s still there, waiting for her appeal proceedings, while back in her village, her neighbours question, “Why hasn’t she been killed yet?”

Then, this pops up in the old city of Lahore (via @Mahraani):

Translation: We salute Mumtaz Qadri, the lover of the Prophet.

There is no escaping this fact: this is the country that we live in. As Feisal Naqvi put it in his op-ed yesterday:

“I do not want to live in a country where people can be executed for blasphemy. But I only get to choose my opinions. I do not get to choose my own facts. And the fact is that the people of Pakistan really want to execute people who they think have committed blasphemy. I can either accept that fact or I can seek to change it. But to act as if that fact does not exist is not sensible.”

As a Pakistani, I’ve never felt so defeated in my life. I really did believe in the resilience of this nation, how we got up, picked up the pieces and moved on. I thought I’d heard of and seen enough terrible things in the country, but I wake up every morning now, read the news, and lose my appetite. I don’t want to leave, but I do want to hide under the duvet and hope that when I finally resurface, it will somehow be a better morning. For now, as Faiz Ahmed Faiz put it, “yeh dagh dagh ujala, yeh shab-gazida sehar/woh intezar tha jis ka, yeh woh sehar tau nahi.”

  1. AHR said:

    Pakistan has come to a point where thousands believe they are righteous and have divine authority to carry out God’s acts on this earth. The repugnant response by the supporters of Salman Taseer’s alleged killer has truly been mesmerizing. Qadri’s fan base has distorted Islam to such an extent that it has become laughable to comprehend how they perceive themselves to be protecting the sanctity of Islam. To read this article: http://bit.ly/i6eiYK

  2. Roshni said:

    disappointing to say the least.

  3. readinglord said:

    It is sheer madness which has virtually converted the religion of the prophet ‘rehmatul-aalimin’ as a killer cult of Kali Devi’.
    What would the Qadri worshipers say if somebody puts up a banner with the inscription ‘Long live the mujaahid suicide bombers who sacrifice their lives anonymously to bring down zarraari shrines and mosques which bring up murderers like Qadri and the supporters for him’?

    • readinglord said:

      @Aqib Mumtaz

      I read the blog you quoted, but it does not contain reply to my question.

      Let me put some questions to you in a more direct manner: Do you think killing of Hussain, or any one, for that matter, of the Aal-e-Rasool, by using fatwa-e-wajibul qatl, issued by the Mullah of the time, a blasphemy or not?

      Again, do you think whether the Maki period of Islam which was subject to a Blasphemy law of the Mushrikin, was not the true Islam as it advised patience to the believers against the blasphemy of the prophet?

      Do you think Islam today is in its Madni period not subject to any laws, but the laws of Shariah only and which, in your view, allows you to lynch any body, any where, you hold blaspheming against the prophet?

  4. Hello
    Everyone is feeling just like you but let’s not lose hope because “the hope is the only hope left”. Let me clear some points.
    Firstly, every country has certain laws against blasphemy, so we should not be confused over these laws in Pakistan. To my knowledge no one is ever hanged in Pakistan by a court using 295-c,so why did late Salman Taseer termed the law as black law or Zalim Qanoon etc and on what grounds(Although I should not discuss him like this posthumously)? Please do not forget he was the governor of the biggest province of Pakistan and responsible person. So it was a mistake to call a woman innocent who had already been declared culprit by a competent court (unless acquitted by a higher court)and challenging the law on self defined grounds. The law may have some shortcomings but it does not mean that a responsible call it a black law. The law has never killed anyone and I am 100% sure that if he had waited for some time Asiya would have been acquitted by higher courts (I still believe that).
    Secondly Mumtaz hussain Qadri is not the hero of majority, in fact some illiterate people have been advocating him. The overwhelming population of Pakistan is moderate and but they are following the spiral of silence. So we should not think that majority is extremist.
    Lastly if we advocate the repeal of law then the extra-judicial killings on the pretext of blasphemy would creep up instead of decreasing. We should not call it the repercussion of blasphemy laws if someone kills other extra-judicially on charges of blasphemy, instead it is the growing intolerance and hatred which should be blamed for.

    • readinglord said:

      @Shahid Majeed

      If ST had, as you allege, called the BL as a black law it is perhaps due to his perception that the law is essentially unjust and open to abuse. Further, the trial court’s judgment against AB cannot be called final till all the legal options available to prove her innocence are exhausted by her.


      I agree with you that ST’s behavior in supporting AB was apparently rather overbearing and injudicious, but, I think, it did not justify his murder under any law.

      In fact, as I have often stressed, the problem in the pakiland is not any law but the bigotized and fanaticised lawlessness, especially in case of blasphemy accused, who even though acquitted by the court, after going through all the tyranny of the legal process, cannot escape wrath of the Qadrian fanatics.

  5. readinglord said:

    Sorry! Entry of ‘caio’ after the first para instead of being shown at the bottom of my previous post is inadvertent.

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