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Pakistani Muslims must honor prophet Muhammad – by protecting Christians

Pakistani governor Salaam Taseer was assassinated for speaking out against the blasphemy laws that condemned Aasia Bibi (a Christian woman) to death. But to truly honor the prophet Muhammad, Pakistanis must repeal these laws – to protect, not persecute, minorities.

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Remember the 1992 courtroom film drama, "A Few Good Men"? The blasphemy laws of Pakistan (which condemn to death anyone who blasphemes the Prophet Muhammad) are to millions of its minority citizens what “code red” was to the marines in that iconic movie: a euphemism for the use of force to garner unconditional obedience from the masses. And the Jan. 3 assassination of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab – Pakistan’s largest province – is a message to every moderate Muslim in the country to dare not challenge the vitriolic blasphemy laws, or they could be next.

Repealing blasphemy laws is an idea whose time has come. They laws are at the symbolic heart of the battle over hardline intolerance and hypocrisy. This larger religious and cultural struggle is now destabilizing Pakistan. Not only are these laws a disgrace to Pakistan, but they also provide more harm than protection to the honor of Prophet Muhammad. Just look at what the Quran says about him, “And We have sent thee not but as a mercy for all peoples (21:108)”.

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