“I was under huge pressure …2 cow down b4…pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing.”
Salmaan Taseer, governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s most-populous province, and a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, tweeted the day before he was assasinated by one of his bodyguards, who said he was angered by the governor’s opposition to the country’s blasphemy laws. After the murderer was taken into custody he said “Salmaan Taseer is a blasphemer, and this is the punishment for a blasphemer.”
Mr. Taseer had become a leading opponent in recent weeks of a court decision in November to sentence a 45-year-old Christian farm laborer and mother of five, Asia Bibi, to death for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
Responding to Gov. Taseer’s murder, the Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan group of scholars, seen as a relatively moderate school of Islam in Pakistan, announced “More than 500 scholars of the Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat have advised Muslims not to offer the funeral prayers of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer nor try to lead the prayers. Also, there should be no expression of grief or sympathy on the death of the governor, as those who support blasphemy of the Prophet are themselves indulging in blasphemy.”