Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Governor Punjab: Latest victim to the ongoing wave of extremism in Pakistan

Governor Taseer assassinated

Islamabad—Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated here Tuesday afternoon by one of his gunman, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadrim, of the Punjab Elite Force. Salman Taseer died when the guard had opened fire on him while he was going towards his car in Kohsar Market.

Salman Taseer, 66, appointed Governor of Punjab in 2008, was killed by one of his bodyguards, who confessed he opposed Governor’s criticism of the controversial blasphemy laws.

We at the Wonders of Pakistan strongly condemn the assassination of Mr. Salman Taseer who was one of the country's most moderate voices against extremism.
Although details as to the motive of the crime are yet to surface, this brutal murder once again raises the fundamental issue: that religious indoctrination is feeding the fires of hatred and intolerance. 

Lately, Mr. Taseer had become an outspoken champion of tolerance and women rights. He supported the rights of all minorities in Pakistan, opposed extremism and Talibanisation, and was against misuse of laws to marginalize minorities under the guise of religious beliefs and the current blasphemy law. Mr. Taseer was a brave man who along with a handful of other politicians like Sherry Rahman had called for the repeal of Pakistan's blasphemy law.
Governor Taseer's murder is simply a sign of the lack of understanding of the peaceful Islamic faith by a violent, vocal and misguided minority of people in Pakistan. This murder and many others are the result of a minority of religious clergy who continue to instill intolerance, violence and create an environment of a mob type justice without due process. Anyone who kills outside the framework of laws has not only committed a crime but a grave sin. These are signs of not only religious extremism but also ignorance of extremism. Mr. Taseer‘s murder must be condemned and repudiated, not extolled. Otherwise, Pakistan will be in a downward spiral in which intolerance and extremism may triumph.

Islam is a faith which teaches respect and tolerance for all people. There is considerable respect for the people of Abrahamic and other faiths. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) life is a perfect example of tolerance, love and respect for all people. It was by his love and character that he won the hearts of all people. Using the same faith and the same perfect personality (SAW) to justify killing the innocent and the minorities is the worst form of blasphemy against The Faith.

We urge all our countrymen to stand up peacefully yet firmly against the voices of intolerance and hate in any shape or form. This type of indoctrination is the single biggest threat to the humanity at this time. Only the larger society can get rid of this menace from all levels within the society. This is the time to unite and join forces and recover the faith of Peace and Love. We also urge the authorities to investigate thoroughly and share their full findings with the people of Pakistan.

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