With base expectations, we may celebrate that Mo Shafiq does not want blasphemers killed. The jubilant crowds would be none existent. You have to kill someone for blasphemy to get that kind of reception in Pakistan. No, Shafiq would never stoop that low for attention.
Low enough to make clear that those assassinated for blasphemy should be very much alive and answering for it in court.
Shafiq wanted to spread the word that Maajid Nawaz was a blasphemer in 2014, and all that work for the Quilliam Foundation, which Nawaz chairs, were “ghustaki Rasool these quillium people.” Which means “defamer of the prophet.” A year after doing this, he apologised for his behaviour in 2015 saying he would never support violence.
Now, it is 2016. What did Mo Shafiq want to make clear regarding the assassination of Govenor Salman Taser and his assassin, Mumtaz Qadri?
If Salman Taseer was guilty of blasphemy then he had the right to defend himself in a court of law; this was not afforded to him. I am not defending his actions, nor what type of lifestyle he led, but regardless of this he had the right to be heard in the court of law. Mumtaz Qadri decided he was guilty and therefore decided he was going to kill him – this action was wrong.
The “lifestyle he led” – let us be clear that sympathy for a man shot in cold blood by his bodyguard for suggesting the blasphemy law needed reforming, only goes so far. Mo Shafiq wants freedom to discuss so:
we could debate, disagree or challenge each other without resorting to insults, swearing or denigrating one’s intentions.
But if you are accused of blasphemy, off to the courts with you. No freedom to debate, disagree or challenge in the public sphere. Come along quietly in Pakistan, before the mob gets there to kill you
The problem in the UK is being exuberant and celebrating the murder of blasphemers. You are rather letting the side down according to Shafiq:
…When it comes to tackling terrorism we have to be consistent and sadly over the past few days we have allowed the narrative to build that the Sunni/Sufi community supports some terrorism or killing in the name of defending the honour of the beloved Prophet (pbuh).
This is alarming and deeply damaging for our community and our ability to address the issue of extremism. This cannot be allowed to continue to the point where we are just seen as terrorist sympathisers or apologists which clearly is not true – God forbid the next atrocity will happen and our scholars will be challenged, ridiculed and condemned for being selective when it comes to terrorism and killing of individuals.
Muslims are not a political collective. Islamists want them to be one. So do the far right. It is a giveaway when people treat them as a monolith. Also, when criticism of the views of a person are considered an attack on Muslims generally. This delusion goes like this: I speak for Muslims defending Islam, therefore when I am attacked, Muslims and Islam are.
These are my sincerely held views and I am certain regardless of what I say there will still be some haters who will continue the campaign against Islam and denigrate so many Muslims.
So to make clear, Mo Shafiq does not want you killed by anyone for blasphemy. You should be in the dock for doing so. Otherwise, take whatever views on the issue and debate. And bear in mind Shafiq is a Sunni.
you can disagree with me but do not suggest that I am any less of a Sunni than you because of this post.
But you can say of Maajid Nawaz:
When it comes to speaking for or defending Muslims Maajid and his cronies are on the other side supporting the other side.
The secret is to learn when you should denigrate other Muslims and their lifestyle, but demand no one do that back to you. Mo Shafiq plays it so well.
So in the debate watch out for non violent extremists that want you in court and the violent extremists that want you dead, when you do. There seem to be a few of them about in this world.
As Govenor Taseer or Asia Bibi testify to.
Twitter exchange here.