|Shahbaz Bhatti 1968-2011|
There is one shred of hope to emerge from this story. Shahbaz Bhatti provides us with a real life example of extreme courage. In January Batti filmed this video and asked it to be sent to the BBC in the event of his assassination. This is some of what he said in it:
“The forces of violence, militant organisations, the Taliban and al-Qaeda; they want to impose their radical philosophy in Pakistan. And whoever stands against their radical philosophy, they threaten them. When I’m leading this campaign against the Sharia Laws, for the abolishment of blasphemy laws, I’m speaking for the oppressed...” He continued “...I’m ready to die for a cause, I’m living for my community and suffering people and I will die to defend their rights. So these threats and these warnings cannot change my opinion and principles. I would prefer to die and follow my principles and for the justice of my community rather than to compromise on these threats.”
These are the words of a very brave human being. That there are people like him should provide us with the solace of at least a glimmer of hope.
Bhatti was the only Christian in the Pakistani cabinet. To some extent his actions were probably motivated by his Christian beliefs. It is a shame that it took one fallacy to attack another greater one, but nonetheless the actions of Bhatti are to be highly commended.
The British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the actions of the murderers “cowardly” but he is grossly mistaken. The men who have killed Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti are afraid of nothing. When they die, they believe they will receive an eternal reward. They will kill anyone because of their faith and they will die trying. Whilst these disgusting creatures are protected by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a nation that still refuses to amend the blasphemy laws, there will be no freedom of speech, conscience, or expression in that part of the world. We need more brave men and women to make a stand. The Taliban have their numbers, let’s hope we do too.