Monday, January 10, 2011

Pakistan, land of the not so free.

            Currently Pakistan is dealing with tens of thousands of protesters.  What are they protesting for, freedom, for women to be given equal rights?  Not at all, they are protesting against a suggestion that Pakistan amend its very strict blasphemy laws to be only slightly less strict.  

This is only the tip of the iceberg.  Governor Salmaan Taseer was assassinated on January 4th for spearheading this effort, shot by one of his own bodyguards.

            Taseer certainly did not deserve this, but he was not even advocating getting rid of the blasphemy laws, merely softening the punishment to something less than the current punishment, death.  That’s right, suggesting that people not be killed for blasphemy is enough to get you killed in Pakistan. 

            Groups within Pakistan who dare to take a more moderate stance have been quiet since the assassination, no doubt because they are all afraid of being killed themselves.  Many religious leaders have stated that anyone interfering with the protesters or continuing the fight for amending the blasphemy laws will be killed.  

            There is a lesson to be learned here, if the only way to maintain belief in your religion is to threaten death of anyone who questions even the smallest aspect of it, then get a new religion….or preferably none at all.

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