Pakistan continues to set the bar low for itself and the fragile justice system that prevails in the failed state. In a long list of incidents that prove that Pakistan is one of the most radicalized countries on the planet, another mind-numbing incident has come to light.
47-year-old Tahir Ahmed Naseem, a member of the minority Ahmadiya community was shot dead in broad daylight in a Pakistani Court in Peshawar last week and the shooter was given the hero’s applause by the fanatics of the Pakistan legal system. The incident invited sharp criticism from the United States as Naseem was an American who hailed from the state of Illinois in America.
At a court hearing, the man – who shot dead another in a courtroom in Pakistan for #blasphemy – is being welcomed by supporters esp those from legal fraternity. Many say this isnt #Islam but THIS is precisely the ISLAM our ruling elite (read: #GHQ) have been preaching & promoting pic.twitter.com/fcqpZRW4HO
— Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) August 2, 2020
The US state department revealed that Naseem was lured into Pakistan from his home state and later ensnared in the controversial Blasphemy law.
“Mr. Naseem had been lured to Pakistan from his home in Illinois by individuals who then used Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to entrap him.” the US state department released a statement after the death of Naseem.
“We are shocked, saddened, and outraged that American citizen Tahir Naseem was killed yesterday inside a Pakistani courtroom,” the US State Department said in a statement.
We extend our condolences to the family of Tahir Naseem, the American citizen who was killed today inside a courtroom in Pakistan. We urge Pakistan to take immediate action and pursue reforms that will prevent such a shameful tragedy from happening again.
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) July 30, 2020
Naseem was charged under Pakistan’s highly controversial Blasphemy law and was on trial since 2018. Naseem was first accused of blasphemy by one Awais Malik, a madrasa student from Peshawar. He had struck a conversation with Malik online when he was living in the US.
Awais Malik had again met Naseem at a shopping mall later in Peshawar where they discussed religion, after which the former filed a case accusing the latter of blasphemy. He was arrested and has been in jail since 2018 for claiming that he was “the last prophet of Islam”.
The Blasphemy law is often used to settle political scores in the conservative Muslim country where speaking anything against the ‘Prophet’ or Islam can land you in murky waters.
After the death of Naseem some radical Islamists groups even called for the release of the shooter, claiming that he was defending his religion.
Pakistan—a coffin for the Ahmadis
Pakistan is no place to spend one’s life in, if one happens to be a non-Muslim, or for that matter, happens to be a Muslim who is not qualified to be regarded as one by Pakistan’s radically jihadist establishment, and an equally fundamentalist populace.
The Pakistani government outlawed the Ahmadi community in a series of constitutional amendments and ordinances passed between 1974 and 1984 and history is replete with testimonies that death is the nearest escape which minorities like Ahmadi in Pakistan can avail in order to not be persecuted for their religious beliefs.
Such is the hatred for Ahmadis in Pakistan that last year when some news reports started doing the rounds of internet suggesting that Ahmadis were all set to be included in Pakistan’s National Commission for Minorities, a full-fledged hate campaign was started by the fundamentalists.
The outraged Pakistanis immediately began trending anti-Ahmadi hashtags on Twitter and spewed hatred against the community. The trends went on to declare Ahmadis as ‘traitors’.
According to the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) figures, a total of 776 Muslims, 505 Ahmadis, 229 Christians, and 30 Hindus have been accused under various clauses of the blasphemy law from 1987 until 2018.
A Nobel laureate denied the honours for being an Ahmadi
Abdus Salam, who was Pakistan’s first Nobel Laureate and the first Muslim to win the coveted prize in physics was also insulted and frowned upon throughout his career just because he was an Ahmadi, a non-Muslim.
Salam’s work was so ahead of its time that it helped pave the groundwork for the Higgs Boson breakthrough. With such stellar accomplishments, one would wonder that Pakistani textbooks will be full of praise about Salam but instead his name cannot be found anywhere in Pakistan’s textbooks as the successive governments sought to remove his name from Pakistan’s history just because of his religious affiliation.
Even after his death, Salam was humiliated as his tombstone was defaced and the word ‘Muslim’ was erased on the orders of a Pakistan local magistrate.
Pakistan and the draconian Blasphemy law
The Islamization of Pakistan, in its true sense, began with the Zia Ul Haq regime, which was one of the most active in pushing Pakistan towards intense radicalism, by following the object of creating a Nizam-e-Mustafa, that is, “Rule of Prophet”. The former military dictator had introduced the highly controversial law in the 1980s,
He even institutionalized the inclusion of Islamists in the judicial set up of Pakistan. Draconian laws based on promoting Islamisation of Pakistan such as the blasphemy law and several other misogynistic laws were enacted.
His legacy remains unchallenged by even the so-called civilian governments that succeeded him and therefore Pakistan, which had started as an Islamic Republic has now radicalized further into a Sharia law State.
The sorry state of affairs in Pakistan can be gauged from the fact that recently a leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was also accused under the Blasphemy law for stating that ‘no religion is superior to the other’. Even after such incidents a minion of Pakistani Army and ISI, Mr. Imran Khan has the audacity to lecture India on religious tolerance.