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Pak Tea House » Justice, Media, Terrorism » Remembering Salman Taseer (Shaheed)

Remembering Salman Taseer (Shaheed)

By Amir Abbas Turi

Salman-Taseer-300x185Salman Taseer, the late Governor Punjab, became the first non-American who has been honoured with the Martin Luther King Junior Peace Award for his efforts in promoting human rights and peace. This prestigious Award is given to Taseer at a time when the Pakistani nation is deeply divided in its opinion about the question of martyrdom. While the United States has honoured him for his courage, unfortunately, Taseer remains one of the most controversial martyrs in his own country.

The list of controversial martyrs of Pakistan includes personalities whose ideas are diametrically opposed to one another. Apart from Taseer, some of the notable names in this list are Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Zia-ul-Haq, Benazir Bhutto, Shahbaz Bhatti, and most recently, Hakeemullah Mehsud. Martyrdom has become so controversial and subjective in the Islamic Republic that, with due respect to some of the names mentioned earlier, in the coming days, animals, especially dogs, would also be included in the list. The problem is not that a certain insane cleric makes a martyr out of a no body, but it is the people of the Islamic Republic who choose their respective martyrs at will. The clerics and politicians then follow the popular beat. The source of the prevailing confusion is not Mullahs, it is the ordinary people of the country, half of which are supposedly ‘educated’. It seems every other person is an angry Mullah, ready to devour any infidelity at the first sight. What is infidelity then? Any idea that does not suit their taste – and what a raw taste most of the people these days have, who call the few intellectuals among them Jahils (ignorant).

In the wake of the cold-blooded murder of Taseer, the manner in which people, led by lawyers, eulogised the achievement of his murderer Mumtaz Qadri, shocked the world. No wonder the Islamic Republic decorate magazine covers and hits the headline as the most dangerous place on earth. Ironically, Qadri was one of the police guards, which were a part of the Governor’s security detail. He not only took law into his hands by committing a murder but also betrayed the trust bestowed on his police uniform. One cannot blame the state dignitaries that prefer to detail their own Jialas for their security instead of police, which has lost its credibility due to such incidents. More unfortunate is the fact that Qadri, who committed a murder in the name of Islam, forgot or ignored the teachings of this religion – which emphasises that killing a single human being is akin to killing the whole humanity, and that a single person or institution is not qualified to prosecute, judge and persecute even the most atrocious criminal. Whether an alleged sinner can be prosecuted at all is another question. Nevertheless, the most relevant question remains that which law of the land authorises all this?

In this land of the pure, it seems that anyone, who has the ability to take up arms to promote and impose his opinions, is qualified to embody in his person all the three personae simultaneously – the lawyer, the judge and the executioner. Add religious cause to your credentials, and the whole affair becomes a holy war between the righteous and the infidels. Murderers proudly making victory signs from police-vans, killers being showered by rose petals in courtrooms and assassins wearing garlands of flowers in jails – such sights have become a commonplace in our land.

In this situation, the most vulnerable people are those who speak the truth, flight for justice, support the weak and strive against intolerance. No matter whatever religious beliefs they adhere to, or how high their rank is, they are weeded out of the land of the pure. A country, where man-made laws are deemed superior to the command of God, where anyone would kill for the sake of his blind belief in such laws and would in turn be supported by massive rallies, is indeed the most dangerous place on earth.

However, history will not forget those who have laid their lives for the sake of truth and justice. Salman Taseer will be remembered for his courage and valour. He stood in defiance against the mighty force of religious fanatics. Regrettably, most of our leaders lack such a strong character and charismatic personality. He knew well the cost of his audacity, but still he raised his voice for the plight of the oppressed. He could not be threatened or silenced. The religious hardliners created an emotional hysteria and called him a heretic. It was not the first time that a brave man was burned for heresy.

It is our moral duty to remember and salute such unsung heroes of our society. Salman Taseer is the kind of fearless leader that our nation requires in today’s dark age. May his soul rest in eternal peace!

The writer can be reached at and he tweets @EngrTuri

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24 Responses to "Remembering Salman Taseer (Shaheed)"

  1. Mohan United Arab Emirates Google Chrome Windows says:

  2. Maggu India Google Chrome Windows says:

    They had trouble finding a man of religion to lead funeral prayers for Salman Taseer. His fault was supporting the right of non-muslims to defend themselves from allegations of blasphemy.
    Lawyers, the upholders of law, felicitated his killer with rose petals and the prosecuter of this murderer had to leave the land of the pure.
    No point pretending that “one who kills a man kills humanity”. That is now what the majority thinks.

  3. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome  GT-N8013 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.59 Safari/537.36 says:

    Maggu, you are splitting hairs. One who insults the Holy Prophet or opposes Islam places himself outside of the pale of humanity. Such a person does not have the same rights of social intercourse as does a good man of woman.

  4. Amir Abbas Turi Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @kaalchakra: Don’t be a conspiracy theorist. Martyred Taseer was a ‘Ashiq-e-Rasool (PBUH)’. He asked for the proper legislation on the controversial law in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic – which’s a sane approach.

  5. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome  GT-N8013 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.59 Safari/537.36 says:

    Turi Sahib, in a Muslim majority nation everybody – even non-Muslims – will naturally claim to be an Ashiq-e-Rasool (PBUH)’ – I hope you agree. But there is a BIG difference between words and deeds. The supporter of an enemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) or Islam is an enemy of all Muslims and of all good men and women everywhere.

  6. Kamath. Canada Safari iPad says:

    Prophet (Pbuh), Prophet (Pbuh), Prophet (Pbuh)..

    .Good lord, aren’t you fellows get tired of this prophet name – repeating during up-down prayers everyday? Prophet (Pbuh).

  7. parliament certified muslim United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    How dare you call Salman Taseer a “Shaheed”? Are you not aware that Hazrat Maulana Munawwar Hassan of Jamaat-i-Islami has issued the following fatwa: All those killed by the Taliban/Ulema-e-Deen are “Maqtools”, and “Not Shaheeds”. All Taliban killed by Pakistan Army are “Shaheeds”. Hazrat Maulana Mufti Fazlur Rehman of Jamiatul Ulama-e-Islam has issued another fatwa: Even if a dog is killed by the Americans, he/she is a “Shaheed”. Salman Taseer was killed by a true Aalim-e-Deen. Therefore, according to the historic fatwa issued by Hazrat Maulana Munawwar Hassan, Salman Taseer is “Maqtool” and not a “Shaheed”.

  8. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome  GT-N8013 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.59 Safari/537.36 says:

    PCM. it’s ok. People have no interest in Islam anymore. Even the Hindus raping Kasmiri women, enslaving freedom-loving Kasmiri men, destroying mosques can get away referring to their so-called soldierly thugs as ‘martyrs’ and ‘shahids’. Believing Muslims who care for their divine duties have been terrorized, silenced, and effectively disenfranchised and their human rights have been trashed.

  9. Ex-Paki United States Mozilla Windows says:

    A country, where man-made laws are deemed superior to the command of God,….
    Do you seriously think that man-made laws should be subservient to ‘command of God’? This, my friend, is the recipe for disaster and exactly what Islamists are fighting for. You want to push the ‘command of God’ as far away from public life as possible, otherwise everybody will come up with the command of their own God.

  10. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hai teri baynoori!!
    Why have you tried to fall prey to Mullaish bigotry by issuing Fatwa that Taseer was a Shaheed?? Intrinsically you and the Mullah are the same!
    Taseer was not a Shaheed in the real sense of the word.

    However, upon having a look at his history, it may be said that he was a wayward playboy which according to Naseem ul Lughaat is translated into Chootia Shaheed!! Check it out!!

  11. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


  12. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    All dictators, tyrants and killers used man-made laws to serve their atrocities. If their acts were subordinate to religion, any religion, they wouldn’t have killed innocent people or destroyed countries one after the another.
    Everyone has some ‘rules’ to live by at home but those rules are always ‘subordinate’ to the religious laws one believes in. For example, man made law allows slaughter of cows and pigs but this ain’t not possible in Hindu and Muslim majority countries respectively because even if these man made laws be right they are yet forbidden by the faith to both adherents of these relgions. There can be many more examples cited and you could do the same if you open up your eyes and look around.

  13. Ex-Paki United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Man-made laws are evolving, of course historically religion has dictated laws in societies throughout the world, as you pointed out in your post, and some of these laws have been used to commit atrocities as well. Atrocities will be committed in this world, with or without religion, history is full of evidence of this (religion has been the basis of more violence than anything else, but that is another debate). Now, finally laws are being made (in some parts of the world), considering humanity instead of religion, gay-rights laws many countries now have is an example. The point I was raising is that whose God’s command do you follow if that is going to be superior to man-made law.

  14. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:

    VIEW : Becoming hostage — Kahar Zalmay

    On Page 323 of the Justice Munir Commission Report of 1954, after concluding the discussion of defining who a Muslim is, it is reported: “Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulema, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental? If we attempt our own definition, as each learned divine has done, and that definition differs from that given by all others, we unanimously go out of the fold of Islam. And if we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulema, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim, but kafirs according to the definition of everyone else.” The Munir Report should have been translated into the major local languages and taught in schools as this report identifies the core cause of our collective failure, but instead we have chosen to live in disconnect, shying away from reality.

    On page 316, the report reads, “According to the leading ulema, the position of non-Muslims in the Islamic State of Pakistan will be that of zimmies and they will not be full citizens of Pakistan because they will not have the same rights as Muslims. They will have no voice in the making of the law, no right to administer the law and no right to hold public offices.” Need I make any comment?

    This is what we have been doing, sticking to the constitution and leaving no stone unturned to alienate anyone who talks of logic and reason. However, on the other hand, the extremists who create havoc, the killers and the fasadis (mischief mongers) are appreciated and garlanded with flowers. No, wait a minute please, we went a step further and elevated them to the status of ‘stakeholders’.

  15. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    You should know that man-made laws are of ‘administrative’ nature while the religious ones are ‘moral’. Administrative laws are worthless, nay black laws, if enforced without ‘morality’ and it is here that religion comes into action.
    For example, I want to take 4 wives, nay the Mormons too want the same or more. Why should they or I be stopped from doing that??
    Gays are a curse, a scourge of Bhagwan in every society…..they are mentally depraved and licentious people. Why not have their willie’s cut off rather than send a bad message to the whole society by allowing their assemblage?? Similarly, there are many things which are really bad yet permitted in one place at a certain time but later forbidden by law. One thing which suits one country may not suit other place. That is, you may not wear your brother’s shoes or someone else’s shoes because normally they are not of the same size.

  16. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome  GT-N8013 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.59 Safari/537.36 says:

    “man-made laws are of ‘administrative’ nature while the religious ones are ‘moral’.”

    Well said, akb.

  17. Ex-Paki United States Mozilla Windows says:

    Every person of average intelligence would know that laws are made for maintaining order in a society, this was not even worth mentioning, historically religion has been a dominant guiding principle for making laws in various societies, this, as I said in my original post, is changing now as we human beings (once again in some parts of the world) are going against religion when they see religious guidelines in some cases to be against common decency. This is not to say that all religious laws are bad, any religious edict, when it conforms to humanity and common decency, can guide applicable law but humanity should be the only basis to form laws. As for human morality, it is a result of evolution not religion. Religion itself is a man made system which has also evolved.
    I have known and worked with gays and lesbians and did not find them any different than ‘straight’ people except in sexuality, some of them are extremely smart and efficient while other are average or below average, some are very active in charity work and have done a great job in helping people in need, what I mean is they are normal human beings just like any ‘straight’ person. I have no idea how educated people can condemn a whole group of people just because of their sexuality, that is how religion affects our minds.
    Speaking of polygyny, why stop at 4?

  18. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    If you think religion is man made then there is nothing more to talk about. Common consensus is that religion is ‘divine’ but because you think it is not you are really ‘special’!!
    I see that you are a proponent of gays and gay marriages. Well, if sexuality wansn’t an issue with man made law or the divine laws then
    incest and sodomy would have not been culpable offense anywhere. But because it is therefore sexuality in any bad form is detestable.
    There are hundreds of laws, and you can make thousands of them but that is not the solution. The solution lies in the enforcement of laws.
    Since laws are not enforced or enforceable everywhere in their right
    form and because laws differ from place to place, people are made to suffer. Thus we must have a good government which can enforce laws even if those are man made, not to speak of religion which only provide a code of life and sense of morality. Morality is almost same everywhere….ethics too; What is bad in India or Pakistan is also bad in America and England. We Asians have to behave properly while in foreign countries because the enforcement of laws there is strict.
    While in our home towns we take laws callously and carelessly because of lack of accountability. Religious laws are also observed almost similarly hence the trouble all around. Even in rich countries you will find black laws …..and their citizens crying over them. Go and read views expressed by them and their ‘think tanks’.
    You may have more than 4 wives and Mormons do have more. It all depends on the provisions provided to one by his/her religion.
    It’s better to have more wives than spend a lecherous life keeping keeps, flirting with aid ridden gals and men, and deflowering gal friends and parenting bastards.

  19. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @kaal ‘

    thanks for your understanding…am glad at least some guys here get me!

  20. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome  GT-N8013 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.59 Safari/537.36 says:

    You are welcome, akb. It’s not hard, as you know. But vested interests make it difficult for folks to see the obvious.

  21. Mohan United Arab Emirates Google Chrome Windows says:

    The Netherlands abolish blasphemy as a criminal offence.

  22. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    Will India abolish ban on unrestricted slaughter of cows OR killing monkeys for their brains to fry??

  23. masadi Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “He stood in defiance against the mighty force of religious fanatics.” You mean he was a war on terror warrior and enslaved to AmeriKKKa, are those CIA cultivated “religious fanatics” mighter than the USA? Since when did siding with poweful make one a “leader” and “fearless.” Like most of the US agents on the Pakistani media this site, it seems, is proliferating a one sided pro US narrative.

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