Pakistani Christian pay tribute to Shaheed Salman Taseer. By Nazir S Bhatti
“Today is January 9, 2011, and day of Sunday; a prayer day of Christians in Pakistan: There is portrait of Shaheed Salman Taseer next to Altar in a Cathedral of Lahore. There are hundreds of portraits of Shaheed Salman Taseer in Churches all over Pakistan during Sunday Services. It is our very simple and most precious homage to our Martyr (Shaheed) Salman Taseer. They gunned you down on street but we have brought you in our prayer, on our Altars, in our hearts, in our Churches and in our eyes because your blood have bought us. We are under fear, we are under pressure of evil forces, we are a nation in minority, we are son of soil of same land but your sacrifice have left alone. We failed to bring out rallies of thousands to protest your death but we are pelting roses on your photo in our worship places. You will remain part of our life and struggle for our rights in Pakistan” Its short e-Mail which may daughter sent me today, who was worried yesterday after reading announcement of Federal Minister for Minorities that Christian will gather in Churches through out Pakistan to press for changes in blasphemy law. She lives few blocks away from my home but called me saying “Will Christian in Pakistan gather any where to pay homage to our Hero Martyr Salman Taseer?”
I must warn that Islam is emerging with a new face in Pakistan which might be worst shape of terrorism to swallow humanity around globe. Think for a while!!! Lawyers are waiting on court gate with petals of red roses and garlands to welcome an accused charged in murder!!! A Karachi University graduate and head of Islamic political party blames assassinated victim to be responsible for his death to hail murderer!!! Islamic scholars publicly announce not to participate in funeral services of a true Muslim!!! It is happening in name of Islam which was never witnessed in history of sub-continent of India. Is it a fate of a Moderate Muslim and oppressed Christians in Pakistan that who may raise voice and get bullets? Is it conspiracy to end Interfaith Dialogues in Pakistan?
From centuries, Islam was safe and so was respect of Prophet Mohammad when there was not any blasphemy law. There was no Section 295 B and C PPC for decades after independence of Pakistan in 1947, but Islam was safe. There were open dialogues in public gatherings of Muslims and Christians to listen what priest says and how Muslim cleric defends Islam but there was not voice of blasphemy from any corner. There were discussions on Islam and Christianity among Christians and Muslims in Buses, in Iranian Cafes, in Parks and in Drawing Rooms but non complained of blasphemy ever. There were not incidents of taking out knives or daggers to kill a Christian on religious discussion nor Muslim mob had ransacked Christian homes on pretext to blasphemy.
A Military Dictator, A clever Muslim, who raised slogan of Islam to prolong his rule in Pakistan, introduced blasphemy law in 1986. It was legislated in a parliament where Muslim individuals known as Members of National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan discussed and voted on it to make it part of 8th Amendment of Constitution of Islamic Republic. They were also Muslim men as Justices in Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan who issued judgment to award capital punishment to blasphemer and parliament legislated Section 295 C in Pakistan Penal Code. If Shaheed Salman Taseer said it is man made law what was wrong in it?
Why Islamic clerics not voiced against misused of Blasphemy law and why government not acted on Section 153 A (a) PPC to counter it? Why government in silent on assassination of Shaheed Salman Taseer and filing cases against Islamic leaders who incited public against Salman Taseer?
I invite attention of World leaders and member states of United Nations to block “Defamation of Religions Resolution” presented by Pakistan in UNHRC because it is an attempt to Globalize Blasphemy Law. There are not all moderate Muslims like Shaheed Slman Taseer who have been settled in Western Countries but thousands will be ready to damage religious freedom and freedom of expression under cover of blasphemy law or Defamation of Religion. Now, Pakistani Christians are grieving on their brothers bullet ridden bodies in Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Karachi and Peshawar but it can happen in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Sydney, if Pakistan becomes successful to globalize blasphemy law in sugar coated “Defamation of Religion Resolution in UNHRC.