Posts Tagged “assassination”

Supporters of Mumtaz Qadri during his funeral. Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP, via The GuardianJust a little while ago I blogged about protests in Pakistan following the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, who’d assassinated Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer, an opponent of blasphemy laws. Pakistan, you see, is still full of howling barbaric Islamists who like blasphemy laws, because they grant them an excuse to take out their rage on anyone they think dissed their religion.

Even so, these hordes of infantilized Pakistanis managed to outdo themselves, when — as the (UK) Guardian reports — some 100,000 of them showed up at Qadri’s funeral (WebCite cached article):

An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people have attended the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, in a massive show of support for the convicted murderer of a leading politician who had criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

The vast gathering on Tuesday centred on Liaquat Park in Rawalpindi, where a succession of clerics made fiery speeches bitterly condemning the government for giving the go-ahead for Monday’s execution of Qadri, a former police bodyguard who became a hero to many of his countrymen after he shot and killed Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, in 2011.…

Many people had travelled from around the country to attend the funeral, and crowds spilled out of the park on to the adjacent thoroughfare where throngs crushed around the flower-strewn ambulance that eventually brought Qadri’s body to the event.

Some of the all-male crowd wore “I am Qadri” signs around their necks while others held up the front page of the Ummat newspaper for bypassers to kiss, which was entirely covered with a photo of Qadri’s dead and garlanded body.…

Sajjad Akhtar Abassi, a lawyer wearing the black suit and tie of his trade, condemned the supreme court for upholding Qadri’s death sentence last year.

“It is a court of law, not a court of justice,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace and harmony but it does not allow anybody to use wrong words against the prophet or any other holy character.”

One must see the vast turnout for this funeral — and Pakistanis’ support for this vile assassin — to believe it:People crowd around the ambulance carrying the body of Mumtaz Qadri during his funeral in Rawalpindi. Photograph: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters, via The GuardianYes, we get what you’re saying, Mr Abassi. Islam might “a religion of peace and harmony,” but only so long as everyone belongs to the same sect of that religion. For anyone who’s not, there can be no “peace” nor “harmony,” just endless harassment. Because Islam, I guess.

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.

Photo credit: Top, Anjum Naveed/AP, via The Guardian; middle, Faisal Mahmood/Reuters, via The Guardian.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments 1 Comment »

Protests such as this one in Lahore took place in several major cities / AFP/Getty photo, via BBC NewsSome five years ago I blogged about something that, I suppose, could only have happened in Pakistan, which is home to millions of howling barbaric Islamist fundamentalists. One Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri had killed Punjab’s provincial governor, Salman Taseer, because the latter had supported repealing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

To give you an idea of what sort of lowlife Qadri is, he’d been Taseer’s bodyguard! And to give you an idea of what sorts of primitive religionist savages Pakistanis are, a bunch of their lawyers showered Qadri with flowers when he arrived to a court appearance, back then.

I bring this up because the machinery of Pakistani justice eventually held Qadri accountable for his crime, and he was executed. But as Religion News Service reports, Pakistanis showed their true colors, by protesting (WebCite cached article):

Pakistan on Monday executed a man who killed the governor of Punjab province over his call to reform strict blasphemy laws that carry a death sentence for insulting Islam.

Street protests broke out within hours by supporters of the killer, who consider him a hero for defending the faith. The head of the Islamabad Bar Council called for a day-long strike of lawyers in protest against the hanging.…

Protesters briefly blocked the main road between Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Monday after news of the hanging broke. Police later dispersed them and closed off the road to prevent more demonstrations.

Chaudhry predicted larger demonstrations coinciding with Qadri’s funeral, which his legal group said would be held on Tuesday.

“From what we are seeing, this protest movement is only going to increase,” he said.

As is usually the case when such things happen, I will simply point out that blasphemy laws are ridiculous and childish. Blasphemy harms nothing and no one, ever. If a religion has any veracity, no amount of “blasphemy” can change that. If a deity has power, no amount of “insults” can take it away. Blasphemy laws only serve to infantilize people and prevent them from hearing something they might not like. Boo fucking hoo.

Photo credit: AFP/Getty photo, via BBC News.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Pakistanis Protest Execution of Anti-Blasphemy Assassin

Shahbaz Bhatti / Reuters via Express Tribune (PK)I blogged about the execution of Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province in Pakistan over his criticism of that nation’s law against blasphemy. As it turns out, that law’s proponents weren’t finished bumping off that law’s critics. Raging, violent Islamofanatics killed another opponent of the blasphemy law, as the New York Times reports (WebCIte cached article):

The only Christian minister in the Pakistan government was shot dead on Wednesday morning as he left his home in the capital to attend a cabinet meeting, an attack strikingly similar to the killing two months ago of another senior politician holding liberal views.

Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister of minorities, was shot eight times by gunmen who ambushed him as he stepped into his car, police officials said. A pamphlet written by a group of Taliban from the province of Punjab was found near the scene in a middle-class residential neighborhood, the officials said.

Bhatti’s assassins haven’t been apprehended yet, so Pakistanis haven’t yet had a chance to shower them with flower petals. What a wonderfully enlightened country Pakistan is! Why, who wouldn’t want to move there and live in a hovel along with dozens of sanctimoniously-enraged murderers and thousands of their gleeful supporters? See how laws against blasphemy make societies want to live harmoniously together, Kum Ba Ya style?

Photo credit: Reuters via Express Tribune.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Another Pakistani Official Executed Over Blasphemy Law

Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the suspected killer of a Pakistani governor, shouted to supporters as he left court on Wednesday in Islamabad. Mohammad Riazur Rehman/Associated PressIf you needed any help understanding what a cesspool of ferocious, mindless, violent religious fanaticism Pakistan is, the recent assassination of Punjab province governor Salman Taseer and its aftermath should finally make that clear. Taseer was an outspoken secularist, and had dared to campaign against Pakistan’s vicious blasphemy law. The New York Times filed this report at the time of his assassination (WebCite cached article):

[Taseer] recently took up a campaign to repeal Pakistan’s contentious blasphemy laws, which were passed under General Zia as a way to promote Islam and unite the country. The laws have been misused to convict minority Pakistanis as the Islamic forces unleashed by the general have gathered strength. The laws prescribe a mandatory death sentence for anyone convicted of insulting Islam.

His own security guard, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, killed him for having done so:

His attacker was identified as Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, an elite-force security guard, who surrendered to the police immediately afterward and implied he had killed the governor because of his campaign to amend the blasphemy laws.

“I am a slave of the Prophet, and the punishment for one who commits blasphemy is death,” he told a television crew from Dunya TV that arrived at the scene shortly after the killing, according to Nasim Zahra, the director of news at the channel.

One would think Pakistanis might view the killing of a public official by his own security detail to be an act of treason. But no. Qadri has been lauded as a hero to Pakistan and to Islam, as the New York Times Lede blog subsequently reports (cached article):

As my colleagues Waqar Gillani and Carlotta Gall report [cached] from Pakistan, a police officer suspected of killing a prominent secular politician on Tuesday was showered with rose petals by Islamist lawyers on his way in to court in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Photographs and video show that the suspected assassin, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, was draped in a garland of flowers by supporters before he entered the court, and emerged from the hearing still wearing it.

Even so-called “moderates” are praising Qadri for his murderous treason:

Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported [cached] that more than 500 religious leaders from what Reuters called “a relatively moderate school of Islam in Pakistan” issued a statement forbidding their followers from mourning for the murdered governor. “No Muslim should attend the funeral or even try to pray for Salman Taseer or even express any kind of regret or sympathy over the incident,” the scholars declared. They added: “We pay rich tributes and salute the bravery, valor and faith of Mumtaz Qadri.”

What this means is that no one can rationally argue that it’s just “the lunatic fringe” within Pakistan who praise Qadri … the country’s “middle ground” is doing so, as well.

How wonderful. What better example does one need of the danger of religiofacism?

Photo Credit: Mohammad Riazur Rehman/AP via New York Times.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments 3 Comments »

This Jan. 2006 photo provided Tuesday, June 15, 2010 by the Larimer County, Colo. Sheriff's Office shows Gary Brooks Faulkner, after he was arrested on a Compulsory Insurance charge.A lone American, on orders — he claims — from God himself, ventured to Pakistan to hunt Osama bin-Laden. Pakistani officials found him wandering around with a cache of weapons, as the AP reports via Google News (WebCite cached article):

An American construction worker detained in Pakistan while on a solo mission to kill Osama bin Laden claimed Wednesday that he was obeying an order from God to avenge the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said Pakistani security officials.

Gary Brooks Faulkner said God revealed the order in one of his dreams, prompting him to travel to Pakistan in search of al-Qaida’s leader, said two security officials, one of whom is part of a team of investigators questioning the American.

This article includes the obligatory blurb from family members claiming there’s nothing wrong with the guy and he’s only doing what ought to have been done in the first place:

Catching bin Laden was 50-year-old Faulkner’s passion, his brother Scott Faulkner said. A devout Christian with a prison record, Faulkner has been to Pakistan at least six times, learned some of the local language, and even grew a long beard to blend in, relatives and acquaintances said.

“Our military has not been able to track Osama down yet. It’s been 10 years,” Scott Faulkner told reporters in Denver. “It’s easier as a civilian, dressed in the local dress, to infiltrate the inside, the local people, gain their confidence and get information and intel that you couldn’t get as an American soldier, Navy SEAL, whoever you might be.”

News flash for the Faulkner family: Individual infiltrations are exactly the sort of thing the Special Forces already do! And I’m betting they’re a lot better trained in it than this guy is. But then, the Faulkners seem not to think that matters, because the Lord will provide:

[Senior Pakistani police official Mumtaz Ahmad] Khan said when Faulkner was asked why he thought he could trace bin Laden, he replied, “God is with me, and I am confident I will be successful in killing him.”

Just one question: How good of a job was God doing, if instead of guiding Faulkner to bin-Laden’s hidden lair, he led him — instead — into a Pakistani patrol? Just wondering out loud.

I’m also wondering about something else. Faulkner is “a devout Christian with a prison record”? How exactly does that work? I thought believing in Jesus made Christians into upstanding citizens, because morality can only come from God?

Photo credit: AP Photo/Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Hunting Bin-Laden For Jesus?

The Web site Religion Dispatches is pithy and interesting. Today I saw a post there which is particularly important. It concerns the assassination of Dr George Tiller, as well as the killing of one soldier and wounding of another at a military recruiting station in Little Rock AR. I’ll discuss the Religion Dispatches posting with only limited comment of my own:

Muslims Murder, Christians Don’t: What Went Missing in Analysis of Tiller’s Executioner

… As the Times headline [i.e. “Seeking Clues on Suspect in Shooting of Doctor”] suggests, there must have been something in [Tiller’s assassin Scott] Roeder’s background that everyone missed, which would explain why he crossed the line from protest to murder.

Similar questions regarding the motives for murder apparently do not linger around the June 1 killing of an army recruiter, Private William A. Long, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The June 2 headline in the Times purports to give the “Report of Motive in Recruiter Attack,” and introduces the alleged killer, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, as “an American convert to Islam.”

Dan Mathewson of Religion Dispatches goes over, at length, the ways in which the media have emphasized religion (in his case, Islam) as a motive for Mujahid Muhammad, but have avoided discussing the role religion (in his case, Christianity) in Roeder’s motivation.

The case has been made, and the mass media have bought into exactly the principle in the post’s headine; they assume that “Muslims murder, but Christians don’t.” That they ignore religiosity in Roeder’s case, does everyone a disservice.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on A Tale Of Two Murderers

Further evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the Religious Right continues to stream in, in the form of commentary on the assassination of Dr George Tiller, about which I’ve blogged twice already.

Here are some comments by Bill “Shut Up!” O’Reilly, of Fox News, in his weekly online column. While O’Reilly concedes it was wrong to have killed Tiller, O’Reilly qualifies this with the following:

It took just minutes after the report of Tiller’s murder for the far-left loons to hit the websites. Postings on the Daily Kos and The Huffington Post immediately blamed me and Fox News for inciting Tiller’s killer. Even though I reported on the doctor honestly, the loons asserted that my analysis of him was “hateful.”

According to O’Reilly, the problem with Tiller’s assassination is not that it happened, but rather, it’s that Leftist Web sites complained about it, and particularly vexing for O’Reilly, was that he was held partly to blame.

Wow. Is this guy for real? (Don’t answer that, I already know he really believes the bullshit he shovels to his sheep every night … that was just a rhetorical question.) O’Reilly defends his earlier characterizations of Tiller on the grounds that other people had done it:

Chief of among the complaints [made against O’Reilly] was the doctor’s nickname, “Tiller the baby killer.” Some pro-lifers branded him with that, and I reported it.

This, of course, is “two wrongs make a right” thinking … which anyone who’s ever been through Catholic schools (as O’Reilly claims he was) knows is not correct. Of course he knows better … he just doesn’t let that get in the way of justifying his own language.

O’Reilly continues with a truly paranoid diatribe:

But behind all the bluster was a well thought out, coordinated campaign. By exploiting the death of Tiller, the far-left is seeking to silence Americans who are appalled by late-term abortion. By demonizing people like me who believe that terminating viable fetuses must only be done when there are catastrophic health ramifications, the pro-abortion zealots are trying to inhibit dissent on the abortion issue in general.

I’m not sure anyone is trying to “silence” anyone. As for the criticism of the language used by O’Reilly and other Religious Right pundits, that criticism may have been sparked by Tiller’s assassination, but let’s be honest, it’s not all fabricated (as O’Reilly himself admitted earlier using his “but other people called him ‘baby killer’!” claim). The fact is that these R.R. pundits did, in fact, spew horrible invectives against Dr Tiller. Had they not done so, there would not now be any criticism of their language. That is why they were criticized — in other words, their own words were “coming home to roost” (to use a phrase made famous by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright).

Note to Mr O’Reilly: Be a man. Own up to your own words. Admit you said them … without qualification. Have the courage to face them.

Or be a childish sniveler who makes excuses for his own behavior and then whines when other people notice it. It’s your choice.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Yet More On The Tiller Assassination