Reactions to the Assassination of Salmaan Taseer

Yesterday, Salmaan Taseer was buried. His murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, was showered with rose petals by lawyers as he arrived at court.

Not everybody is overjoyed by this man’s slaughter. Sana Saleem wrote an excellent blog at CIF yesterday, and an equally good one in Dawn today:

Governor Taseer was killed because he asked for mercy for a 45-year old mother of five. Twenty-seven bullets for taking a stance.  His murder highlights the abuse of Islam and Quran for the sake of power and authority. By encouraging such behavior we are promoting lawlessness and a state where people will be at each other’s throat on a mere disagreement. Is this the message of the Quran? Is this what Islam teaches us? How humane is it to rejoice someone’s death?

Governor Salman Taseer stood for tolerance and he was killed at the hands of extremism. There’s no justification for his murder, and every single one who instigated violence, has blood on their hands. Governor Taseer’s death highlights intolerance, hate and bigotry and speaks of a desensitised society where cold-blooded murders are justified.

We have been moving in the wrong direction for a very long time now. Our ideologies have become distorted and our vision, diminishing. The constant state of violence and the need to prove ourselves as pious Muslims and patriotic Pakistanis has engulfed our humanity. There are no rational dialogues anymore, only ego tussles, labels and death threats.

Although a majority of clerics of all sects have been at the forefront of the incitement against Taseer, and have led the cheers for his murderer, Sheikh Muhammad Idris Usmani disagrees and has issued a fatwa to say so:

According to Islamic Shariah, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, any one supporting or praising his act must be executed by law or crucified or their hands and feet cut off from opposite side. Exile is not needed in the present case as the State can exercise Shariah authority on its citizens and subjects.

Uh huh.

Amjad Khan pointed out yesterday that Qadri was a traditionalist, not an Islamist, and that he was being praised and supported by Pakistan’s Barelwi clerics, who issued the following statement:

“No Muslim should attend the funeral or even try to pray for Salmaan Taseer or even express any kind of regret or sympathy over the incident.

We pay rich tributes and salute the bravery, valour and faith of Mumtaz Qadri”

Jamaat-e-Islami had this to say:

Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the country’s main Islamist political parties, agreed that the assassination at Islamabad’s Kohsar Market was justified.

“If the government had removed him from the governorship, there wouldn’t have been the need for someone to shoot him,” it said.

The Muslim Council of Britain, which usually has an awful lot to say about events abroad, has strangely said nothing at all about this assassination.  Possibly, that is because the MCB is closely tied to Jamaat-e-Islami, and its Secretary General, Farooq Murad, is the son of the former Amir of Jamaat e Islami, Khurram Murad.

Or perhaps they just haven’t got round to it.

Why don’t you contact their press officer and ask what the MCB’s position is on this murder? Let us know in the comments below what they say.