Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for religious minorities in Pakistan, has been shot today by gunmen and he died later in an Islamabad hospital (here). He is a Christian, only Non Muslim minister in cabinet and is most known for his opposition to blasphemy law. He is the second high profile politician to be killed this year in the context of blasphemy law. Earlier this year, Salmaan Taseer, Governor of Punjab Province, was shot dead by his own security guard. After Taseer's killing, Mr. Bhatti predicted his death at the hands of militants (here, here).
Of course, this incident will not put an end to claims of Pakistan being democratic and moderate Islamic country which, presently, is rattled by few Islamic radicals, terrorists and extremists who just happened to misunderstand everything that is in Koran and Sunna. The oddity is that these supposedly misunderstanders keep quoting Koran, sayings of their Prophet and views of Islamic scholars, from classical times to modern times, in the support of their actions thus, claiming legitimacy in Islamic law (sharia law).
It is open knowledge that Shahbaz Bhatti received many threats from Islamic extremists. Yet, the reality of militants carrying out their threat should tell us about real nature of people in power who could not upgrade security. Or it is their knowledge that mere increase of security will not help the matters because security personal themselves could carry out their Islamic duty as Salmaan Taseer found out.
For establishment in Pakistan, claims of fighting extremism and terrorism and their country being a moderate are just means to milk aid in the form of billions of dollars from western nations. At one instance, they claim, esp. when facing western media, to represent moderate Islam. At another incident, when facing their own Islamic media, they bring out their true Islamic colors by promising to adhere to true Islamic laws e.g. saying no to repealing of blasphemy law as Pakistan's PM did very recently (here):
"Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Monday the PPP will contine its struggle to reform laws according to Islamic spirit and make Pakistan a welfare and moderate state.Addressing a Mefil-e-Milad on the last day of the 45th Urs of Syed Ismail Shah Bokhari, popularly known as Hazrat Karmanwala Sharif, he said the PPP was the custodian and protector of Namoos-e-Risalat (PBUH) and could not even think of any legislation against it........" (i.e. Govt. is not going to repeal blasphemy law.)Here, he was not just stating the position of Govt. but also implying that his party, PPP, is an Islamic party. One can not comprehend how they intend to reconcile true Islamic law with laws of 'non existing' moderate Islam. To be honest, those asking this question are labelled Islamophoebes and hatemongers; but it is perfectly alright for Muslims claiming moderation and , at the same, adhering to blasphemy law.
This incident should not surprise any one considering what took place in Pakistan after killing of Salmaan Taseer: The killer was praised not just by Islamic parties but also by lawyers who showered rose petals on Taseer's murderer in court; Pakistan Govt. announcing that it never had any plans for reforming or repealing blasphemy law; large public demonstrations in various cities across Pakistan in sipport of blasphemy law and for denouncing Pope, who called for reforming blasphemy law; people glorifying Taseer's killer in facebook out numbering the people who condemned the killing of Salmaan Taseer.
Above facts should tell us how dubious and ineffective our logic will be if we ever try to understand what is happening in Islamic world through non existing or meaning less phrases like moderate Islam. After all, when more than 85% of Muslims say that they support death penalty for apostates i.e. Muslims leaving Islam to another religion, it should at least make people think before claiming Islam and secular democracy are compatible. Since this is not going to happen, incidents will like this happen and the result will be continuation of extermination of religious minorities in all Islamic nations.
To read more on this blasphemy law, click on the label 'BLASPHEMY LAW' or to read various news clips on blasphemy law in Pak., click here.