Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bhutto's son pledges to defend minorities in Pakistan

Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto speaks during a memorial service for the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, at the Pakistan High Commission in London January 10, 2011.

Sounds impressive ~

He said he would uphold the legacy of his mother and his grandfather, former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged in 1979. "I will not be silenced by fear."

He also condemned clerics who warned against mourning Taseer's death, saying of those who threatened Muslims who prayed or grieved for him: "You too shall be defeated."

If he can deliver.


What is unforgivable ~ is the religious apartheid for the non-Muslim minority in Pakistan. That in today's world, because of your religion you are barred from going to university, joining the army or entering politics in any significant way ~ shows that Pakistan's Islamic problems are much larger than its violence.


Defending minority rights ~ means offering them equal rights ~ something the Islamic world at large has great difficulty with ~ this after the prophet's example ~ the people Muhammad did not kill ~ the Christians and the Jews ~ if and only, they agreed to live as subjugated citizens under Muslim rule ~ means equality ~ for all men ~ runs counter to Islamic laws.


To really make changes in Pakistan ~ young people need to learn more tolerance ~ to moderate or ignore some of Islam's extreme teachings. They are going to have to control Islam. And a better balance between religion and state. Which is the issue across the Islamic world ~ but many countries have a king or a strong leader to control the excesses of the religion.


I don't have faith Pakistan can do this ~ we probably going to have to look at managing the region ~ there is not going to be an easy solution.


On a cosmic note I think they have to let the Islamic religious delusion run its course. Muhammad lived a violent life ~ is this what they want?



LONDON (Reuters) - Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of Pakistan's ruling party, on Monday condemned the killing of a politician for seeking changes to blasphemy laws, and called those celebrating his death "the real blasphemers."

Bhutto, the son of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007, also pledged to defend the country's minorities -- increasingly under siege from powerful religious lobbies and often targets of Islamist violence.

"To the Christian and other minority communities in Pakistan, we will defend you," he said at a memorial ceremony in London for Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province who was killed by his own security guard last week.

"Those who wish to harm you for a crime you did not commit will have to go through me first."

Taseer, a leading politician in the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), had spoken out in defense of a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death under blasphemy laws which critics say are misused, often to settle personal scores.

The man who confessed to his killing has been celebrated as a hero by some in Pakistan, and up to 50,000 people joined a rally organized by religious parties in the city of Karachi on Sunday to oppose any changes in the blasphemy laws.

Bhutto condemned all those who justified violence in the name of Islam, through suicide attacks and murder.

"To those who are praising or justifying these crimes, I say: you along with the killers of Shaheed (martyr) Salman Taseer are the real blasphemers."

Taseer's killing has further cowed those in Pakistan promoting liberal, secular views, and PPP politicians including Bhutto's father, President Asif Ali Zardari, have been criticized for failing to speak out.

Bhutto, who is studying in England, said "the dark forces of violent extremism, intolerance and bigotry are intent on devouring our country and our faith" and Taseer's killing was meant to cow its opponents into remaining silent and frightened.

He said he would uphold the legacy of his mother and his grandfather, former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged in 1979. "I will not be silenced by fear."

He also condemned clerics who warned against mourning Taseer's death, saying of those who threatened Muslims who prayed or grieved for him: "You too shall be defeated."

Five hundred religious scholars from the mainstream Barelvi religious tradition, usually seen as more moderate than Taliban militants who follow Deobandi Islam, had praised Taseer's killer and said those who mourned his death could meet the same fate.

"The assassination of Shaheed Salman Taseer is not about liberals versus conservatives or moderate versus radical Islam. It is about right and wrong," Bhutto said.

Religious parties rarely win much electoral support in Pakistan but they have the capacity to bring large numbers out into the streets. The PPP-led coalition government has been criticized for failing to deliver the kind of governance needed to turn the tide against militancy.

1 comment:

helle said...

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