Pakistan and Gun Control

Wasif Ali Khan, a friend of Pakistan's government minister for religious minorities Shahbaz Bhatti looks at the bullet-riddled window of car while he mourns over the death of Bhatti outside a local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. (AP / Anjum Naveed)What’s up with Pakistan?  We all think of America as the gun totin’ rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ country where you’re liable to get blown away for insulting the wrong person, the country where children are encouraged to play with guns.  Real guns, not toys.  And here’s Pakistan making America look like an afternoon at the vicarage.    Zilla Huma Usman, the Punjab provincial minister for social welfare and supporter of President Musharraf, was shot down because she refused to wear a veil.  Now, I’ve heard of crimes deserving of capital punishment, but that seems an over reaction.  Last month it was Salman Taseer, shot down by a member of his own bodyguard for daring to suggest that a Christian woman shouldn’t be hanged for blasphemy,  just a few days ago it was Shahbaz Bhatti, shot dead for the same reason.  Except Pakistan doesn’t want to admit that it was for the same reason.  That would not be “helpful”.

News Flash:

GENEVA: Pakistan on Thursday called on other countries not to link killing of Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, to the wider issue of blasphemy.

Bhatti, who had called for changes to blasphemy laws, was shot in broad daylight in Islamabad. Taliban said they had assassinated him as a punishment for blasphemy.

“We believe it would not be helpful to link the highly regrettable killing squarely in the context of defamation (of religion) and blasphemy,” Pakistani delegate Asim Ahmad said in a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In the rights council, Pakistan speaks for the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic States (OIC), which is campaigning hard with support from African states and others like Russia and Cuba for what critics dub “an international blasphemy law”.

Ahmad said freedom of speech could not justify defamation and blasphemy. “It is important to prevent the deliberate campaign of defamation of Islam and its Prophet (PBUH),” he said.  AFP

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What the fuck.  I mean, what the FUCK.  Why is the representative of  a country that has a death penalty for blasphemy giving speeches to something called a “rights council”?  And Asim Ahmad, speaking for Pakistan, tells that august body that linking a murder, which the murderer said was in revenge for opposing blasphemy laws, to the support for blasphemy laws “would not be helpful”?  I can see his point.  If you are trying to sell the world on passing laws to protect your stupid, barbarous, insane religion from being mocked, having people front and center who murder those who question that religion will not help the cause.  And how the hell can we NOT link those murders to the supporters of blasphemy laws.  That’s why they said they did them.  They said so.

I think we are going to see the Streisand Effect in full bloom here.  By trying to get people like me to stop defaming their fucking asshole prophet (PBUH) they are only going to ignite a shit storm of abuse.  News for Ahmad:  Freedom of speech certainly fucking does justify defamation and blasphemy.  That’s what freedom of speech means.  Fuck you.

And all of this is not even what I wanted to write about.  I wanted to write about guns and gun control in Pakistan.  I mean, if Americans are the gun totin’ people, what’s with Pakistan?  Well, apparently the Pakistanis leave Americans in the dust when it comes to gun ownership.  They have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country in the world.  And they believe it’s a good idea to shoot anybody who defames Allah (PBUH).  Well, there go MY vacation plans.

I don’t like to hear blanket condemnations of Islam, and I detest efforts to polarize the population and prepare us for a religions war.  So normally I wouldn’t send you off to listen to an Islam basher’s rant. I’ve seen this guy before, and I can’t say I’m a fan of his smarmy sarcastic delivery.  But he does have something to say here about the rights council.  Worth a listen.

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