How Does Pakistan Continually Produce

women of such incredible courage?! Lord knows they don’t deserve them.

Pakistani Legislator Stands Up to Extremists Over Law
In Pakistan, calls to reform a blasphemy law have resulted in the assassination of two key moderate politicians. Margaret Warner talks to Pakistani Parliament member Sherry Rehman, who has challenged the law and become the focus of several protests and drawn ire from conservative imams.

MARGARET WARNER: To some in Pakistan, Mumtaz Qadri is as popular as a rock star, his armored vehicle showered with rose petals as he arrived at court.

Yet Qadri is an admitted killer, a bodyguard who, in November, shot and killed the governor he was supposed to protect, Salman Taseer. Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab Province, was a moderate politician who called for amending the law making blasphemy a capital offense.

Then in March, another centrist figure, Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, met a similar fate, gunned down as he left his mother’s home in Islamabad. Both men had been inspired to try to change the law by the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death after neighbors accused her of insulting the Prophet Mohammed during a dispute. Bibi is still alive in prison.

Also under threat for proposing to reform the law, parliamentarian Sherry Rehman. She’s been burned in effigy at Islamic rallies and denounced by conservative imams. The U.S.-educated Rehman, a former journalist and magazine editor, briefly served as information minister under former President Pervez Musharraf.

She was close to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who encouraged her to get into politics. She was injured when Bhutto’s motorcade was bombed by would-be assassins in October 2007. Rehman responded to the most recent threats by isolating herself for a time at her family’s well-guarded home in Karachi.

But she remains in Parliament and this week emerged from her isolation to take part in a U.S.-Islamic world forum in Washington. I spoke with her there.

Sherry Rehman, thank you for joining us…

MARGARET WARNER: You want to reform the anti-blasphemy laws. Why?

SHERRY REHMAN: See, the blasphemy laws have been used, or rather misused, to target innocent civilians, minorities, vulnerable Muslim communities, women for all sorts of alleged crimes and misdemeanors that have very little to do with religion, let alone, you know, suggesting anything against the prophet. Peace be upon him.

So, really, we had to consider amending the law, simply to remove something like a death penalty, which I argued not just for the secular constitution, but was not available even in the Koran for this particular offense.

My concern is that the Pakistani state is providing her security. That didn’t work out so well for her colleague. As major dad said while watching it last night, “I wouldn’t trust one of those Pakistani state [unprintables]”, pieces be upon them.

Watch the interview. She’s amazing, but it’s makes me cry because I keep seeing this as her Act Three in my head. Just waiting for that dark curtain to fall and snuff out the light in the most gruesome manner possible, like it always inevitably seems to with these 7th century goatherders, their tiny little minds and that hateful little book.

2 Responses to “How Does Pakistan Continually Produce”

  1. Gary from Jersey says:

    Dead woman talking.

  2. JeffS says:

    Alas, Gary, you are right.

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