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"Pakistanis committing the mother of all blasphemies by keeping silent"

London , Fri, 04 Mar 2011 ANI

London, Mar 4(ANI): Most Pakistanis are committing the blasphemy of keeping silent as the country's mullahs and muftis have managed in a very short span of time "to blur the line between what God says and what they say", Pakistani journalist Mohammed Hanif rues.


"Two months ago, after Governor Salmaan Taseer's murder and the jubilant support for the policeman who killed him, religious scholars in Pakistan told us that since common people don't know enough about religion they should leave it to those who do - basically anyone with a beard, Hanif, the author of the novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes, wrote in The Guardian.


He noted that everyone in the country "decided to shut up: the Pakistan Peoples party (PPP) government because it wanted to cling to power, liberals in the media because they didn't want to be the next Taseer. The move to amend the blasphemy law was shelved."


"It was an unprecedented victory for Pakistan's mullah minority. They had told a very noisy and diverse people to shut up and they heard back nothing but silence, he added.


But when Pakistan's only Christian federal minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, was murdered on Wednesday, the same folk were back on television, he said, "this time condemning the killing, claiming it was a conspiracy against them, against Islam and against Pakistan."


Hanif pointed out that during the last two months in Pakistan, "sar tan se juda" (off with their heads) has become as familiar a slogan as all the corporate songs about the ICC World Cup 2011.


"So now disagreeing with anyone who has a beard and armed bodyguards can get you killed," he added


Hanif said while the PPP government has "tried to appease this lot by silencing the one-and-a-half liberal voices it had", it faild to realise that one cannot really appease people "who insist their word is God's word, their honour as sacred as the Holy Prophet's."


"In Pakistan, silence is the mother of all blasphemies. Most Pakistanis are committing that blasphemy and being punished for it," he added. (ANI)


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