Governor Salman Taseer, 1944-2011
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Governor Salman Taseer, 1944-2011

I’m lost for words. I really don’t know what to say. I am part sad, part angry, part resigned.

This isn’t going to be a long post. I just want to make two points. One, you’ll never see those calling for greater tolerance killing or intimidating those calling for less tolerance. It’s always the other way around in this country. It’s such an uneven fight, and Governor Salman Taseer found out just how uneven today.

Two, plenty of media personnel and right-wing politicians in this country contributed to this with their constant “wajib-ul-qatl” refrain, not to mention equating support for blasphemy laws to support for Islam. All of them could technically be dealt with as inciters to violence (illegal in our country, and basically every other one out there) but they won’t. You get to say and do whatever you want, act with as much impunity as you want — as long as you have God on your side.


Salman Taseer. Pic: AP.

My condolences to the Taseer family.

Update: Couple of posts from the blogosphere saying what I would like but couldn’t. First, Huma Imtiaz:

Every PPP politician who placated the religious right-wing and their former ally JUI-F that the Blasphemy Laws would not be amended: you have Taseer’s blood on your hands. Live with that.

I’d like to believe that Taseer’s death wasn’t in vain, that one day we will live in a country free of religious bigotry and incitement to murder, Blasphemy Laws and a right-wing that we’re held hostage to, but at this point, I think there’s a pool of blood at Kohsar Market that resembles the fate of those who would like to cherish this hope.

Second, Shahid Saeed:

When extended relatives, friends and acquaintances celebrate, rejoice and express happiness over the death of someone – out of what they perceive to be faith, religious feelings (and in some cases hate for politicians), I am speechless, hopeless and dumbfounded. But I am not shocked. Silent majority, a word often used by people falsely hoping that this nation is a country of moderates, is a fallacy. Silent minority is the right word to be used more often. It epitomizes the group of cowards who dare not question anything publicly that the right wing and bigots force down the nation’s throat. There are pages on Facebook praising the assassin – the members are upper middle/middle class folks – doctors, engineers, managers and the professionals who are talked of as moderates. You can report a Facebook page but you cannot report an entire nation that has two mausoleums for a murderer named Ghazi Ilm Din. You cannot do anything about that nation. Hopelessness is a direct consequence of living in this nation, any other advice is pure bullshit.

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