January 11, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Almost before the body was cold after the January 7 assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer by a member of his inner guard, 500 of Pakistan's religious scholars and imams released a statement condoning the murder, stating that Taseer met a just fate because he violated the country's Shari'a inspired blasphemy laws.
The initial report was carried in Pakistan's Roznama Jang newspaper and then translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI}
As we noted on the day of the bloodshed [see Assassination Of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer - Pakistani Islamists Silence Critic Of Blasphemy Laws] the killer said that his actions were justifiable under Shari'a, "What makes this a religious based killing of special importance is the role that Mr. Taseer played in speaking out against Pakistan's Shari'a based "blasphemy" laws, which prescribe harsh punishment for those who are thought to have insulted Islam or its prophet, Mohammed. In this case "insulting Islam," was merely Taseer speaking out against a single aspect of Shari'a, with no apparent or consequent criticism of the religion itself. [note: Taseer's killer stated under interrogation that his motive was the governor's opposition to the blasphemy laws]..."
The killer's stated reason for acting, far from being an anomaly in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, appears to be the consensus opinion of a substantial portion of Pakistan's Islamic scholars, who find the death penalty for blasphemy thoroughly consistent with the Qur'an and the accompanying Sunnah.
According to MEMRI's translation, the clerics' statement read in part:
"[The clerics] asked Muslims, in a joint statement, not to express any sympathy or sorrow over the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, declaring that no one should participate in his funeral prayer or try to lead the prayer. Those who support the perpetrators of blasphemy against Prophet [Muhammad] are also blasphemers. Lauding the bravery and sense of honor for faith and religion of the Prophet's lover Ghazi Malik Mumtaz Hussain, who assassinated the governor, the leaders and clerics of Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat said that this brave person has maintained the 1400 years of Muslim tradition, and has held the heads of 1.5 billion Muslims of the world high with pride.
"The Jamaat Ahle Sunnat leaders and clerics said that ministers, politicians, so-called intellectuals, [television] anchor persons, and others who oppose the blasphemy law and support the perpetrators of blasphemy against the prophet should take a lesson from the death of the Punjab governor. The Ahl-e-Sunnat leaders and clerics said that the punishment for blasphemy against the prophet is only death as per the Holy Book [i.e. Koran], Sunnah [sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad], consensus of Muslim opinion and explanations by the ulema [religious scholars]; and they also said that any blasphemous remark against the prophet - even unintentionally - makes one a kafir [infidel]. There has been a consensus on this issue among the ulema of the ummah and muftis right from the eras of the prophet and the companions of the prophet until today. Those who committed blasphemy against the prophet were killed during the period of the four early caliphs."
This sordid incident, once again makes clear the destructive nature of Shari'a - in any society, let alone the West - and Islamic apologists will be working overtime to attempt to undo the damage this religious murder has done to their argument and agenda.
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