Video: Slain Pakistan Shahbaz Bhatti , “I’m leading this campaign against Sharia law … I am ready to die for a cause” and so he did

Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s slain minister was aware of the threats that he faced in Pakistan.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Exclusive footage of Shahbaz Bhatti’s interview, posted with vodpod

The only Christian in Pakistan’s Cabinet was assassinated Wednesday by militants linked to al-Qaida after he called for the country’s controversial laws on blasphemy to be amended.

Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for religious minorities, had just left his mother’s house in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, and was traveling to work in Islamabad when gunmen sprayed his car with bullets.

The assassination, the second in two months over the blasphemy law, was a reminder of the surge of extremism that is sweeping Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation that is a key U.S. ally in the region.

Both President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI condemned the killing.

“Minister Bhatti fought for, and sacrificed his life for, the universal values that Pakistanis, Americans and people around the world hold dear – the right to speak one’s mind, to practice one’s religion as one chooses, and to be free from discrimination based on one’s background or beliefs,” Obama said.

In January, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province and another prominent politician from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, was gunned down by one of his own bodyguards after he, too, had called for amendments to the blasphemy law after a Christian woman was sentenced to death under the statute. The law requires the death penalty for people found guilty of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad.

Many Pakistanis celebrated Taseer’s death. His alleged killer was showered with rose petals as he made his first court appearance, and some Muslim clerics called for the death of others seeking reform of the blasphemy law – hate speech that went unpunished by the authorities.

Bhatti, a 42-year-old Roman Catholic, also had campaigned for the law’s reform. A leaflet left at the assassination site threatened further violence and said that an “infidel Christian” shouldn’t have been allowed to head a committee looking at amending the law – the government has repeatedly denied that any such committee exists.

“With the blessing of Allah, the mujahedeen will send each of you to hell,” the leaflet said.

Bhatti knew well that his life was in danger, but was uncowed by the many death threats he’d received. In January, he told an interviewer that he was ready to die. “Forces of darkness cannot threaten me,” he said.

One Response to “Video: Slain Pakistan Shahbaz Bhatti , “I’m leading this campaign against Sharia law … I am ready to die for a cause” and so he did”

  1. Condemning is easy. The real work is to use all diplomatic means and public opinion to call for a collective abhorrence by governments and the repeal of the use of Sharia apostasy laws. Every week across the Islamic world Christians are imprisoned, lose their rights, jobs, homes and tragically, all too often, their lives as mob rule is allowed to dispense Sharia justice whilst governements pay lip service to the rights of all their citizens. Courage is easier in numbers as recent events have shown. The courage of Shabaz Bhatti will hopefully highlight the courage of many other individuals who have stood up for their right to believe and shame others into collective action to challenge the ugly status quo. R.I.P. Shabaz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: