Thursday, March 17, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Shahbaz Bhatti was so sure that he would be assassinated for his work defending Iran’s minorities that he videotaped a statement in anticipation of an assassination he believed was inevitable. The 42 year old Roman Catholic was a cabinet minister in charge of defending Pakistan’s minorities, a task that consumed his life.
Bhatti’s car was riddled with gunfire in an attack that was tied to his opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are so loosely interpreted that any non Muslim who explains his faith to a Muslim could be charged under the laws. Already, Punjabi governor Salman Taseer, has been assasinated for his opposition to the same blasphemy statutes. Pakistan was founded as a country in which Muslims would not be discriminated against. Even Itself is divided between Sunni and Shia, as well as other smaller sects. Although Pakistan has a Sunni Muslim majority, it has a significant minority of Shiites. If one adds secular and more modern Muslims to the picture, the need for religious tolerance becomes self evident, as it was to Pakistan’s first President, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who stated as follows.
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