The attorney also argued that the Sharia court had jurisdiction, not the civil court, which he said ignored Islamic jurisprudence about blasphemy and so rudely fixated instead on the fact that Mumtaz Qadri committed murder.
It is noteworthy that Salman Taseer, the victim, is now cast as a blasphemer himself. That is indeed the reason he was killed: for committing blasphemy against the blasphemy law. “Pakistani Muslims on strike against the death sentence for the murder of Salman Taseer,” by Jibran Khan for Asia News, October 7:
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Political parties and clerics have declared a nationwide strike for today to protest against the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. Yesterday Mumtaz Qadri appealed to the High Court in Islamabad against the death sentence pronounced by the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi October 1 last.
Qadri’s lawyer, Raja Shujahur Rehman, told the appeals court on that the anti-terrorism court was not the appropriate authority in the case, which should have been dealt with by the Federal Shariat Court. According to the lawyer, the Qadri case did not fall under the Pakistan Penal Code because he had killed a blasphemer according to the teachings of Islam. The appeal argues that Qadri is not responsible for terrorism, because killing Taseer was not an act of terror, and the lawyer concluded that the court had ignored Islamic jurisprudence. Shujahur Rehman said that “no sense of panic or insecurity has been created in the public at the time of the killing, so you can not define it as an act of terrorism, but on the contrary, people heaved a sigh of relief after the killing of a blasphemer.”
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the court in Islamabad chanting slogans in support Qadri and condemnation of the judge. The discussion of the appeal has been scheduled for Oct. 11. Deobandi and Wahhabi groups have announced their support for the demonstration organized by Islamic parties and other groups (about 40 in all) against the verdict, calling Mumtaz Qadri an “Islamic hero.” The Islamic Sunni Tehrik group has offered a large Dyat as “blood money” to the Taseer family to obtain forgiveness of Qadri. The chief of Jamat Islami (Islamic Union) Munawar Hassan said: “The verdict of conviction was a political decision to please the West, and every decision that goes against Islamic ideology is unacceptable, we live in an Islamic state.”
In addition to the closure of all activities, proclaimed by the Islamic parties, after Friday prayers there will be protest marches across the country. The organizers said that the protest will continue until the liberation of Qadri, and the elimination of every secular element opposed to the blasphemy law. One of the Islamic leaders, Maulana Aziz said: “We’ll get his release, and will not allow any profanity to exist in Pakistan. We will kill every blasphemer, and will ensure that Islam will prevail. “
The human rights organization Masihi Foundation in a press release said: “The conditions in Pakistan are becoming increasingly critical because of every day bigotry, which will lead to more violence and chaos. If we disagree with someone, you need not be violent. Individuals can not arrogate to themselves the authority to judge anyone, Muslim or infidel. Mumtaz Qadri has committed a heinous crime, and worse, a murder motivated by ideological reasons. The victim was the governor of Punjab, who in the observance of his public duty had met a woman convicted under a discriminatory law [Asia Bibi]. […]
The bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Rufin Anthony said: “Qadri betrayed his trust and murdered the person he swore to protect. I am amazed that an attorney said that the court`s verdict is illegal and baseless, so is killing a person justified?….
To that attorney, apparently it was, and he is not alone. Other lawyers showered Qadri with rose petals when he was first brought to court.