Pakistan and the Death of a Hero
Illiteracy, ignorance, closed-mindedness and intolerance won the day when Asia bibi, a Christian woman living in a largely Muslim village, was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammed and jailed under Pakistan’s so-called “Blasphemy” laws; she was sentenced to death by a Pakistani court, because she supposedly said, “the Quran is fake and your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had worms in his ears and mouth. He married Khadija just for money and after looting her kicked her out of the house.”
As a Muslim who grew up in Pakistan…a MUCH more tolerant Pakistan then than now, I can tell you that this statement could never have been made by a Christian villager in Pakistan, no matter what the provocation…never. The only exception under which a non-Muslim IN PAKISTAN, would say such a thing, would be if the speaker were stupid, crazy AND incurably suicidal. Clearly, the allegations were manufactured by the women who took the accusation to the local imam who then laid the charges against her, later saying he “cried tears of joy when the sentence was passed”. Idiot.
One Pakistani who emerged as a hero during this fiasco was Salma Taseer, the Governor of Punjab. He said the blasphemy laws were black laws and should be revoked and that the ignorance of the mullahs should not be allowed to control Pakistan. He was speaking the words of all fair-minded people in Pakistan, but that was not tolerated by the closed-minded who see themselves as protectors of God, when it is actually the opposite; Governor Taseer was shot by his own bodyguard in what was obviously a murder planned at the top extremist levels.
The bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri, was a member of an elite Police force in Pakistan, but recently the force advised his removal because they believed he was too closely affiliated with intolerant groups. On January 4, Qadri put about 27 bullets into Gov. Taseer, then in a pre-planned move, dropped the gun and surrendered. This is a ploy used by many fanatical assassins in Pakistan, they are told that they must survive the act of murder by surrendering and then the fanatic groups will do everything they can to get the killer off in courts…and they do.
On Jan 5th, when Qadri was arraigned in court, there were about 300 lawyers who were fighting for the “honor” of defending Qadri who had been heavily garlanded by attending crowds. In the formerly Frontier Province (now ‘Khyber Pukhtunkhwah’), major marches took place demanding the freedom of the “hero” Qadri while people who are given the title of Muslim “scholar” have vied with each other to condemn the victim and praise the murderer. People are generally certain Qadri will get off, if only because no judge in the country will dare to punish this man for fear of what may happen to the judge.
Pakistan is now divided into groups of people who support the murder, those who oppose it and those who won’t say.
Those who support the murder have decided that the Governor was standing against God’s laws, when he spoke out against the so-called “Blasphemy” laws. These extremist-minded people believe that the Governor was against God and therefore, should be killed…this is the usual punishment by the extremists, who can only think of killing people who disagree with their limited point of view…essentially, the whole world, whether Muslim or not. For these extremists, it is enough that someone was accused of blasphemy…and the facts be damned…s-he should be put to death immediately, even more so, if the “blasphemer” is not Muslim. Evidence, trial, judgment and actual Quranic instructions on what to do, are mere impedimenta to their evil goals.
There is also that population that supports the murder because they do not know enough about Islam and rely on the pronouncements of ignorant people who sport beards and intimidate by quoting in Arabic from the Quran without concern for relevance. These bearded fanatics call themselves “Scholars” thereby, insulting the hard work and real Islamic scholarship of those who have actually spent great time studying Islam and discussing details with other scholars. It is enough for this population, to know that their “scholars” are against something; they too will support their imam’s position without question.
Then there are those who will not speak out against the murder, preferring the safety of silence. This population is not only intimidated by the “scholarship” of the fanatics, they are aware of their own ignorance and are afraid that if they oppose the fanatics, they might actually incur the wrath of God; better to support without question. They are also intimidated by the thought that if they DO speak out, some other zealot will pick up a gun or a knife and strike out at them or their families, in defense of God.
Thus grows the power of the fanatics and the weakness of the population in countries where fanaticism is growing exponentially in the fertile fields of ignorance. The few who do speak out, are made examples, silencing more and ever more people. Hunger, exploitation and foreign (drone) attacks attract the remainder people to the fanatics as perhaps, the only way out of the jaws of the nut-cracker.
I fear that the only way for Pakistan and its people to survive the corrupt leaders and the voracious fanatics, is if a Chairman Mao emerges and cleans it completely inside and out.
It may not be the “Freedom” and the “Democracy” that the US would like to (shudder!) export, but it will work, better than anything else.