Salman Taseer: hero of decency, secularism, womens’ rights and democracy

January 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm (democracy, fascism, Free Speech, good people, Human rights, india, islamism, Jim D, Pakistan, religion, thuggery)

Governor of Pakistani Punjab Province Salman Taseer speaks to journalists in Islamabad in March, 2009. Taseer was assassinated by one of his bodyguards in Islamabad on Tuesday, apparently for opposing blasphemy laws.
From  Adil Najam at All Things Pakistan:
Salman Taseer – Governor Punjab, businessman, media mogul, PPP leader – was gunned down outside a restaurant in Kohsar Market, Islamabad, by one of his own guards. The guard – reportedly, a Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri – was part of the security Elite Force depute assigned to keep Salman Taseer safe gunned down the Punjab Governor with as many as 27 bullets. Later the guard handed himself to the police and said that he had killed Salman Taseer because of his vocal opposition to the Blasphemy Law.

“Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri may have pulled the trigger but let us all hang our head in shame today because Salman Taseer was killed by the intolerance, the hatred, the extremism, the vigilantism, the violence and the jahalat that now defines our society. He was killed by the unchecked abundance of false sanctimony where custodians of morality have been breathing fire and instigating violence. Each one of us, including his own party, should be ashamed today for having tolerated the pall of intolerance that has eventually gunned down this man. Today’s Pakistan is defined by Mumtaz Hussain Qadris. They exist all around us. And it is all of us who tolerate them and their intolerance. It is this tolerance of intolerance that kills.

“Today, it claimed yet one more victim.”

This outrage, together with the hounding of M.F. Husian by Hindu bigots (so well described by Nick Cohen here), tells us exactly where the centre of struggle on 2011 lies: for democracy, free speech and secularism, against religious bigotry and political relativism in all its forms. And that includes fake “left” idiots like this, this and this.


  1. charliethechulo said,

    As the great Hitch said: “Here we are then: in a war to the finish between everything I love and everything I hate. Fine. We will win and they will lose.”

  2. Dr Paul said,

    But does ‘the great Hitch’ fight for social equality these days? Hardly.

    Unless a campaign for religious freedom and opposition to bigotry is part of a broader campaign for social equality — that is, land reform, democratic rights for all, wealth redistribution, eradicating official corruption — the religious hard-liners will be able to promote the idea that such calls are a middle-class and/or alien racket that have nothing to do with the poor. It’s not just Pakistan, the ruling Iranian mullahs are skilled at this ploy.

    I don’t if Taseer was personally or politically corrupt, but so long as mainstream political parties in Pakistan are intimately tied up with corrupt big landowners, military top-brass and industrialists, then the clerics will continue to have a field day.

    The fake egalitarianism of the clerics cannot be defeated by the corrupt mainstream parties in Pakistan, and all the latter do is to discredit any reforms for which they may call. That’s why class politics are essential to show why the poorer sections of society should support progressive reforms. A Third Camp perhaps: neither the clerics nor the corrupt mainstream politicians.

    And having ditched any commitment to socialism when he lined up with the neo-cons, ‘the great Hitch’ is of little use to the masses of Pakistan.

  3. maxdunbar said,

    ‘But does ‘the great Hitch’ fight for social equality these days? Hardly.’

    Er, he’s got some pressing personal issues to deal with

  4. johng said,

    Why do you put up pankaj mishra? Because he opposes Hindu Nationalism? Are you now on the side of the BJP?

  5. maxdunbar said,

    Yes the blog is a BJP front, as well as a CIA and Mossad front. It is getting harder to juggle all these agencies

  6. jim denham said,

    Gameboy asks: “Why do you put up pankja mishra?”

    Here’s at least a large part of the answer, John (and of course its got nothing to do with the BJP):

    Note the following extraordinary non sequitur:

    “this (ie the enduring appeal of religion amongst backward peoples – JD) may be disquieting news in the same week that Muslim fanatics slaughter Christians in Egypt and a leading secularist politician in Pakistan. But then Islamic groups and parties in Indonesia were also crucial in democratising the country after decades of corrupt, pro-western military dictatorship.”

  7. sackcloth and ashes said,

    ‘Why do you put up pankaj mishra? Because he opposes Hindu Nationalism? Are you now on the side of the BJP?’

    To think that this cretin thought he was worth a PhD …

  8. Dr Paul said,

    Max D re Hitchens: ‘Er, he’s got some pressing personal issues to deal with.’ His current medical problems both self-inflicted and otherwise don’t prevent him, to mention just one thing, from publicly debating with Blair. Stop lionising this has-been.

  9. maxdunbar said,

    What exactly would you like Hitchens to do for you?

  10. Dr Paul said,

    Perhaps return to what he was 40 years back…?

  11. jim denham said,

    Compare Mohammed Hanif’s principled analysis of Islamic fascism, with Pankaj Mishra’s apologetics:

  12. jim denham said,

    According to the Independent’s obit, Taseer was a close assocaite of Tariq Ali’s in supporting progressive, secular causes in the 1960’s and 70’s:

    I’ve used Google, but cannot find any comments at all, anywhere, by Tariq Ali about the assassination of his old comrade by an Islamo-fascist.

  13. Peter Morecambe said,

    #12 `According to the Independent’s obit, Taseer was a close assocaite of Tariq Ali’s in supporting progressive, secular causes in the 1960′s and 70′s’

    Aren’t the AWL constantly calling Tariq Ali a political cunt?

    `But Tariq Ali, a commentator who even in his activist days never had much feel for the working class movement ,,, (Shiraz, Oct 10).

    `The charlatan, self-publicist and ex-”Marxist” Tariq Ali writes in today’s Graun ‘G2′ about his collaboration with the film producer and conspiracy-theorist Oliver Stone on a film largely devoted to hero-worshipping Hugo Chavez. If you express any reservations, you’re a “gringo.” The following excerpt from Ali’s article is so full of self-contradiction, non-sequiturs and plain nonsense that I seriously wonder whether Ali thinks readers of the Graun are devoid of critical faculties, or are simply immune to such things as elementary logic or the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction.’ (Shiraz, July 27).

    The tiniest sample from the most perfunctory of searches. But suddenly you are recruiting Ali’s failure to write fawningly about Taseer to justify your `head up his arse’ obit for the Pakistani media mogul and imperialist puppet Taseer. I’m afraid Denham has thrown in his lot with the semi-colonial liberals and their imperialist backers. Their treachery and socialist and Stalinist apologism for it is the real reason why their fascistic Islamist alter egos are gaining influence and support amongst the urban and peasant petty bourgeois masses. When the treachery of the liberals and their `socialist’ apologists like Deham can no longer deliver, imperialism turns to other forces to put down working class political aspirations even whilst feigning disgust at its excesses. Hypocrite Denham true friend of the islamo fascists due to his treachery to the socialist cause.

  14. maxdunbar said,

    The trolls have turned a debate about the future of Pakistan into a debate about left wing personalities. Thanks for that you parochial twats.

  15. Peter Morecambe said,

    Denham , Dumbo’s calling you a parochial twat.

  16. jim denham said,

    Peter: seek help. You’re a sick man.

  17. jim denham said,

    Tariq Ali finally speaks up:

    Even so, he doesn’t finger the Islamo-fascist religious fanatics as the main enemy.

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