November 14, 2011

From Injustice to Justice

On 4th Jan 2011 a news shocked every one around the globe that Governor Salman Taseer has been killed and killed not by anyone else but his own guard who was there to secure him from any danger. Some mourned this tragic incident while others found this as a laughing stock. In some eyes Salman Taseer was the hero and for others it was Mumtaz Qadri. Some termed this murder as barbaric and insane while others termed this as an act to save the respect of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Whatever that was it was a murder of an innocent “innocent till proven guilty” by any competent court of law or even Federal Shariah Court. Moreover not to go far Islam clearly states that

Murder of a human being is just like killing all human beings

Islam never encourages the murder nor even does it encourage harming any Muslim. It has been stated in Sahih Bukhari

A Muslim is a person from whose hands and tongue other Muslims don’t get troubled
That killing was never justified and was a barbaric act and should be condemned by every one at all forums.  After the murder the matter was taken to court which after hearing of 8 months sentenced Mumtaz Qadri to death twice. Special Judge ATC-II Syed Pervez Ali Shah declared the judgment in the high-security Adiyala Prison in Rawalpindi. The court also imposed fines of Rs100,000 each for the two convictions of murder and terrorism.
Qadri held the unrepentant look he has maintained since confessing almost immediately after the murder. Those in court reported that on hearing the death sentence Qadri smiled, thanked Allah and said his dream had come true.
Dismissing Qadri’s pleas, the judge said: “A proven blasphemer is wajib-ul-qatal (liable to be killed). He cannot be forgiven. Only the Holy Prophet (PUBH) himself can forgive him. However at this stage two questions arise. Firstly, can a person who is leading a sinful life be termed an apostate? Secondly, if he is deemed an apostate, then who will execute him? Obviously individuals cannot be given the authority to judge someone an apostate, infidel or non-Muslim. Moreover, individuals can not be allowed to execute the punishment on such persons because it will pave the way for anarchy, turmoil, restlessness and lawlessness in society. Therefore the defence plea in this regard is not helpful to the accused.”
Rejecting the defence’s plea that the murder was a result of sudden provocation, the judge remarked: “The statements of the governor about blasphemy laws were published in 2010, and the murder was committed on January 4, 2011. Further, it was not the plea of the accused that the deceased made these remarks in his presence. The accused himself put a provocative question to Taseer as he was coming out of a restaurant in Kohsar market and it was not the deceased who provoked the killer.”
Advocate Shujaur Rehman, one of three defence counsels, complained that his side was denied the opportunity to counter the prosecution’s concluding remarks. Qadri’s lawyers were also unhappy at the timing of the judgment, claiming they were not informed that the court would announce its verdict on Saturday. “The court conveyed the verdict to Qadri in the absence of his lawyers”, said the advocate.
According to Rehman, the defence was also not given time to file an application in court arguing that terrorism charges could not be levelled against Qadri.
Since Taseer’s assassination, only one prominent Pakistani politician has openly called for changes to the blasphemy legislation. This man, the Minister for Religious Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, was also murdered, and since his death no politician has raised the issue publicly.

Again like the killing some hailed this decision and some termed this as un-Islamic. Some went to streets in favor of decision and other went to streets for agitation. The supporters of Qadri not only get the shutters of the shops down forcefully but also threatened to Kill the judge to gave the decision. My question here is “are these Islamic teachings”? Has Islam ever supported barbarianism and fanaticism?

Therefore the conflict between to factions of society is still there and no one from our Islamic circles came forward to clarify that who did right and who did wrong. Though the court has given its decision but still all competent, knowledgeable scholars and muftis should come forward to clarify the status of both Mumtaz Qadri and Salman Taseer. They should clarify whether blasphemy law is right or wrong. They should clarify without any bias or fear that whether the remarks of Salman Taseer were right and if not then do Islam give any individual right to murder anyone without taking him to court.

Without going into merits and demerits of this decision and without any doubt I feel that this decision is a step forward for all justice system and from an act of barbarianism and injustice we have moved to an act of justice. 

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