Salman Taseer was shot to Death yesterday, apparently by one of his own bodyguards. The suspected Killer explained that his employer was against the Muslim anti-blasphemy law. The law has become controversial since a non-muslim woman, who criticized Mohamed the Muslim prophet, was given the death penalty. Salman Taseer had appealed for her release, causing Muslim religious authorities to label him an apostate, whose punishment is death. A Muslim Holy man has promised a $6,000 bounty reward for whoever murders the women who spoke badly about Mohamed, thereby avenging the name of the prophet and Allah.
Salman Taseer was famous as a person who defended women’s rights and minorities thereby raising the ire of the clerics. The assassination underscores the tensions between the secular and the minorities on one side and the Muslim extremists on the other. This secular religious tension is constantly under the surface and is a destabilizing factor in Pakistan.