It’s probably not even a surprise that following the murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer by fanatic religious zealot Mumtaz Qadri, his son Shaan Taseer is accused of blasphemy. But for the sake of it, let’s just say who could imagine this happening.
Salmaan Taseer would have been so proud in the grave, or perhaps so pained to see this.
The Quaid-e-Azam would have been so proud in the grave, or perhaps so pained to see this.
Of all the Taseer children, it was perhaps only Shaan who has taken up activism for the rights of the minority religious communities in this fashion. He has remained in the forefront in protesting against religious extremism, including against the Laal Masjid, with Jibran Nasir and other similar activists. I recall seeing him speak first in the Aabpara protest against Laal Masjid clerics following the APS attack in Islamabad, which featured Jibran Nasir and Farzana Bari as well.
It’s one thing speaking out for the poor and the threatened, it’s a whole different thing altogether to become the victim yourself. Such is the brilliant dynamic of the politics of the blasphemy. No one is safe from the monster.
Amazingly enough, Shaan Taseer has been accused of blasphemy for just giving a video Christmas message to everyone in which he obviously criticized the blasphemy law as “inhuman.” Of course, he brought up Aasia Bibi missing God knows how many Christmas nights for being jailed. And of course, even any judge is not willing to hear Asia Bibi’s appeal case. Thank God someone is still talking about it.
However, this video was enough for him to attract a very serious and dangerous, legally protected death threat. Yes, that is what a blasphemy fatwa really means.
The Barelvi clerics of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah affiliated with the Sunni Tehreek, the group that wreaked havoc in Islamabad on the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, issued the fatwa or legal opinion against him. The trouble with the fatwa sort of “legal opinion” is that most Muslims end up considering it a verdict. Anyone remember Salman Rushdie?
If you need an evidence of the insanity of the blasphemy allegations flung at just about anyone, then consider the case that the same clerics have issued a warning against PTI leader Imran Khan too. Now Imran Khan is a very popular leader, who has now turned a conservative populist nationalist, with his party allying with the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami. He knows very well that blasphemy is political suicide. Someone as careful as him is not even safe from the threat of blasphemy accusations, albeit he is powerful enough that they stop short of issuing a fatwa against him and settle on an open letter.
On the anniversary of the assassination of the late Governor Taseer, let us express our support and solidarity to Shaan Taseer who is fighting the fight for liberty at a cost.
We must realize that no one is safe as long as these medieval obscurantists are in power.
We must realize that no one would be free as long as these ignorant tyrants keep on shutting everyone up.
We must speak out.
That is the only way to pay our respects to the mission of the Taseers.
Filed under: Commentary | Tagged: activism, Barelvi, blasphemy, blasphemy fatwa, blasphemy law, clerics, death threat, Farzana Bari, fatwa, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, Governor Punjab, Hafizaan-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat Pakistan, inhuman, legal opinion, liberty, medieval, Muhammad Jibran Nasir, Mumtaz Qadri, obscurantism, politics, religion, Salmaan Taseer, Shaan Taseer, Sunni Tehreek, Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah, verdict | 1 Comment »