Sunday, 16 January 2011

Salmaan Taseer

There were some disturbing reactions to the assassination of the Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer in Pakistan on 4th Jan 2013. The governor had campaigned against the abuse of the country's Blasphemy Laws which are often abused to settle scores and persecute minorities.(see also here, and here)

Taseer had been campaigning for the release of Asia Bibi who had been accused of blasphemy after an argument with a group of women while harvesting berries.

The BBC, in an article entitled "Salman Taseer: Thousands mourn Pakistan governor" commented that Taseer's funeral was attended by the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and "thousands of supporters of the PPP". The article also commented that:

"One small religious party, the Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan, warned that..."No Muslim should attend the funeral or even try to pray for Salman Taseer or even express any kind of regret or sympathy over the incident"...

...It said anyone who expressed sympathy over the death of a blasphemer was also committing blasphemy....

...The Pakistani Taliban - Tehreek Taliban - also said anyone offering prayers for Mr Taseer would be guilty of blasphemy...

...Pakistan's high commissioner to London [told the BBC] that Pakistan would not allow itself to "be held hostage by a minority of [radical] religious people"."


Meanwhile, the Guardian, in an article entitled "Mainstream Pakistan religious organisations applaud killing of Salmaan Taseer" states that:

"All the big mainstream political parties strongly condemned the murder, and thousands attended funeral prayers for Taseer. However, both the large religious political parties declared that he had deserved to be killed for his views..."Salmaan Taseer was himself responsible for his killing," Munawar Hasan, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the two big religious political parties, said. "Any Muslim worth the name could not tolerate blasphemy of the Prophet, as had been proved by this incident...

The religious scholars warned that others could meet the same fate."The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy," the Jamaate Ahle Sunnat Pakistan statement said."


BFTF was concerned to see the support of Islamic parties for the killing and so emailed three local Imams who were part of Nottingham Jammat Ahle Sunnat asking :
"My question to you is to ask whether [the views of Jamaate Ahle Sunnat Pakistan] these are also the views of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Nottingham?"
Update Jan 2014
Post tided up and extra background and links added.
None of the Imams answered the question, by the way.

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