Taseer had been abandoned by his own party

Back in Pakistan…Salman Taseer is buried.

Taseer’s three sons, men with black shirts and red eyes, flung rose petals into the grave. A bugle sounded; graveyard workers shovelled sticky winter clay on to the fearless politician’s coffin. And across Pakistan, people wondered what was disappearing into the grave with him.

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing “western” ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

As Taseer was laid to rest in Lahore, his assassin, 26-year-old policeman Mumtaz Qadri, was also being showered with rose petals, in Islamabad. Cheering supporters clapped Qadri as he was bundled into court.

Oh dear god…it’s such a nightmare. That people like that exist and are happy with the way they think and feel and act. That Pakistan is full of them. That savage mindless cruelty and bullying are the norm there. That neighbors can first refuse to drink water from a glass offered them by a woman of the “wrong” religion and hence caste, and can then accuse her of the capital crime of “insulting” a guy who’s been dead for 14 centuries. And then rejoice at the murder of a man who tried to protect and support her.

It’s a nightmare.

Taseer had been abandoned by his own party.After Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws on 8 November, Taseer visited her in jail with his wife and daughter to show his support. Shortly after, an Islamic mob rioted outside the governor’s house in Lahore, burning his effigy and calling for his death. On television, prominent media commentators joined the chorus of criticism.

Senior figures in his own party turned tail. Awan, the law minister, said there was no question of reforming the blasphemy law.

A nightmare.

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