Taseer’s murder is a warning to all sane voices in Pakistan – by Imran Qadir Butt

One by one, extremists are silencing every sane voice in Pakistani society.

The cold blooded murder of Salman Taseer is another warning for people who are harbingers of sanity and tolerance and crude reminders for them that they are not welcome in this land of fundamentalists and extremists.

I was astonished at the hypocrisy of people when after witnessing harrowing violence at the hands extremists to their fellow countrymen, women and children they still have galls to say that it is not Islam.

When a lady anchor person on Geo TV asked a religious leader whether he would condemn Mr Taseer’s murder he blatantly said “No”. And this religious leader happens to be the leader of movement for the protection of current blasphemy laws in Pakistan. He further commented that murder of Mr Taseer was an act of God but fate of his murderer should be decided by courts. I am sure he was a true representative of Islam yet lady anchor person finished her programme by saying Islam is religion of peace nothing else. I do not know who she was trying to fool herself or people listening to her hypocritical remarks. Anything that discourages sense of fair play and helping the weak should be vigorously discouraged.

Watching various Pakistan TV channels one cannot help feeling that everyone was trying to be apologetic for Mr Taseer’s murderer by giving qualifying statements about what Mr Taseer said on blasphemy laws and motives behind such a violent act. As if Mr Taseer was himself to blame for his murder. When extremists killed innocent people of Pakistan in mosques, in market places or even in hospitals everyone proclaimed they were not Muslims and foreign hands were involved because a Muslim could not kill a fellow Muslim.

I am still waiting for what would they say about Malik Mumtaz Qadri. He is surely an ordinary Muslim. I am sure now everyone in unison would proclaim that Malik Mumtaz Qadiri is not true representative of ordinary Muslims. Ordinary Muslim is tolerant and peace loving.

This is a murder most foul. It brought forward the nakedness and emptiness of Pakistani society. A society bent on killing every sane element amongst itself. A totally deranged and dysfunctional society where only those people holding guns in their hands have monopoly over everything from political discourse to basic human rights.

I hope Mr Taseer’s murder would not go in vain and the debate he started should be brought into its rightful conclusion. But I have a very little hope and I am also concerned about the safety of all those people who are trying their best to break the status quo in whichever field they work because it seems Pakistan is a country where there is no place for sane people.



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