Greetings / assalamu alaikum, I wanted to blog further on this issue, however, events over the weekend kind of got in the way. However, there seems to be some backstory/more nuance to why Salman Taseer was assassinated last week, other than some kinda extremist shooting him because of his opposition to the blasphemy law. That may have been the main reason, but on further reading and reflection, I just don’t think it’s as cut and dry as all that.
I’m not saying he deserved to be shot 30 times by his own bodyguard (obviously), even if he did have an affair, even if he did drink, even if he was hardly an observant Muslim. Because then wouldn’t that be vigilante justice? And is that not allowed in Islam? Perhaps blasphemy *was* the main reason he was assassinated, but also perhaps his other more private behavior probably didn’t help matters either.
And though the “500 prominent Islamic scholars” news headline so prominently trumpeted by the BBC World Service is shocking (hey it shocked me), if you look at the proportion of so-called Islamic scholars to the population of the country of Pakistan as a whole, is it really that many scholars who are actually saying this is OK? And then you have to get into what a “scholar” is exactly, and how “prominent” they may actually be, which once these things are found out, may or may not be debatable.
However, unfortunately, the “500 prominent Islamic scholars” headline had the intended affect of really saying “hey look at those religious extremists in Pakistan, saying it’s OK to kill a champion of minorities in Pakistan and human rights,” without qualifying that perhaps 500 scholars in a majority Muslim country is only a drop in the bucket and thus may not mean as much as the BBC, by parroting this headline, may lead the rest of the world to believe. I’d be like saying 500 ministers in the US condoned or condemned one thing or another and while that number sounds like a lot, how many preachers, self-proclaimed or otherwise, do we have here in the US?
It’s still shocking to me anyway, that anyone would think it OK to riddle someone with bullets vigilante-style, for opposing a law. However, as I said earlier, I think there’s some nuance and perspective that’s not being explored at least in the Western news reports I’ve seen on the issue.