The assassin, Mumtaz Qadri, was “was associated with the moderate Barelvi sect” and “is said to be associated with ‘Dawat-i-Islami’, a non-political and non-violent religious group close to a moderate Sunni Muslim sect.”
So was he an immoderate moderate all along, or is the moderate Barelvi sect immoderate in its moderation? What do they think of the blasphemy law and the imprisonment and murder of innocent people that it brings in its wake? Do they consider that, too, to be moderate?
“Pakistan: Punjab governor’s assassin ‘linked to Islamic group,'” from AKI, January 5 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
(AKI/DAWN) – The Pakistani Elite Force guard who on Tuesday shot dead Punjab governor Salman Taseer is said to be associated with ‘Dawat-i-Islami’, a non-political and non-violent religious group close to a moderate Sunni Muslim sect.
Taseer’s self-confessed killer, Mumtaz Qadri, was associated with the moderate Barelvi sect, according to one his colleagues. The Barelvis originated in India in the 19th century to defend traditional Islam and many practices and rites associated with the mystical Sufi strand of the faith.
Five hundred Barelvi scholars warned that anyone who expresses grief over Taseer’s assassination could suffer the same fate.
Pakistan was on high alert ahead of Taseer’s state funeral taking place in the Pujabi capital, Lahore, on Wednesday.
Taseer – a senior member of the governing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – had recently angered Islamists by appealing for a Christian woman, sentenced to death for blasphemy, to be pardoned.
Prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani declared three days of national mourning and appealed for calm….