Another Blasphemy Law Opponent Killed


Shabaz Bhatti, a Pakistani minister who opposed an Islamist blasphemy law that carries the death penalty, was assassinated outside his Islamabad home today. As reported by The Guardian, Bhatti opposed the law because he believed that it would be used to discriminate against religious minorities, including his own Christian community (he was Pakistan’s only Christian minister). While I think that opposition to such laws should be based first and foremost on their sheer irrationality, Bhatti was of course right about their being inherently discriminatory as well. In this video, taped a few months ago, he declared that he was prepared to die for his principled opposition-

This is the second such assassination in the last couple of months. The first was that of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who seemed to oppose the law for more liberal reasons, and whom I memorialized in this post.