Pakistan: An elite police commando from the provincial police force who was assigned as a bodyguard for the governor of Punjab Province murdered the governor today in Islamabad. The commando dropped his weapon and surrendered to the police, bragging that he was proud he killed a blasphemer. With that, Pakistan’s political crisis deepened.
The commando killed Governor Salman Taseer because the governor openly criticized Pakistan’s law that requires execution for blasphemy against, not just god, but Mohammed and Islam. In a strict interpretation of blasphemy, it is a denunciation of god, not of a prophet or a set of religious beliefs. That is not the Pakistani law, however.
Taseer advocated a pardon for Aasia Bibi, a Christian factory worker who was convicted of blasphemy against the prophet on the testimony of her Muslim co-workers. Taseer thought this was unjust.
His murder is the most sensational since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.
NIGHTWATCH Comment: The most sensational attacks by fundamentalists have all involved bodyguards. They include the most serious assassination attempts against Musharraf when he was President; the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the assassination of Governor Taseer. In addition every attempt to attack military facilities in Rawalpindi has involved cooperation by guards.
Taseer’s assassin was no wild-eyed Islamist. He was a trained and vetted police commando. And that is the point. The ranks of Pakistan’s security forces are dominated by Islamists. They take seriously their oath to uphold Pakistan’s laws, including the blasphemy law. The popular culture has become Islamist, in sympathy if not in action, and the political and military elite are a small modern minority.
There is no need to search for the black hand of al Qaida. The investigation will find that the murderer discussed his sense of outrage with comrades. The majority of Pakistanis might not approve of the method, but will not denounce the act of stopping a blasphemer.
Phi Beta Iota: In past centuries, it has been religions that waged the deepest wars and were the greatest scourge against their publics–the Catholic Church stands out with the Inquisition, the Crusades, the atrocities against women accused of being witches, and so on. Other religions, including Islam, Zionism, and various religions within India that murder each other, are equally suspect for favoring violence as a means of addressing perceived and real blasphemy.
In recent centuries, it has been economic empires, with politically-manipulated fronts–notably the United Kingdom and Europe, then the United States, that have imposed “collateral damage” across the Southern Hemisphere. The corrupt economic elites of the West nurtured 44 dictators and their own elite counterparts across the many poor states–Switzerland always there to hold the gold (and perhaps steal much of it), to the point that today there are 177 failed states (plus the Palestine Occupied Territories and Kosovo), up from 25 just prior to the beginning of the reign of George Bush II. This is out of a total of 195 countries, 192 of which are recognized by the United Nations.
What does this mean, at a time when capitalism without ethics has broken the US and global economies, capitalism focused on the one billion rich has failed to embrace the five billion poor, and the Internet lies fallow as a device for helping the five billion poor create infinite wealth?
IT MEANS, in our view, two things:
1. The Peace Summit planned by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for October 2011 is an OPPORTUNITY, not for prayer, but for pro-active truth & reconciliation among religions, with a focus on how best to achieve truth, trust, transparency, and reconciliation across all populations, with an emphasis on helping specific religions such as Islam educate and empower their populations (such as the most ignorant in Pakistan and the most violent in India)–it means a form of mutual disarmament–a stop to attempts to proselytize among the “heathen” in one another’s eyes, focusing instead on reconnecting and re-energizing the normal bases. For the Catholic Church, this means focusing on the Digital Natives world-wide, and on resurrection of Latin America’s soul.
2. Education and practical truths, not liturgy and doctrinal truths, are the path that must be lit for humanity. For too long the Church and other religions have claimed to be focused on poverty–the number one high-level threat to humanity–and for too long they have ignored or even constrained attempts to address poverty. Within the Church, Liberation Theology stands out as a practical effort that should not have been stopped.
3. The Church–and other religions–have to this point been in tight harmony with the banks and the economic “hidden powers” of the world. The time has come for the Church–and other religious leaderships–to decide if they want to self-destruct with the Rothchilds and Goldman Sachs and the Zionists–or if they want to seize the day to create heaven on Earth: an educated five billion poor that creates infinite wealth and stabilizes relations among all cultures, religions, and tribes. CORRUPTION is the common enemy–the Church–and other religions–must decide if they are willing to be serious about corruption in all its forms as a crime against humanity.
4. This is the same choice that faced America three months prior to 9-11 when Dick Cheney ordered the nation-wide counter-terrorism exercise so as to allow 9/11 to happen and take America toward two elective wars and a global campaign of rendition & torture, all for lucre and all based on 935 documented lies.
5. Lies kill. It’s time we stopped killing each other. Truth empowers, we need to focus on transparency and truth to create trust, and from trust, infinite wealth and global reconciliation. This is not rocket science. All it takes is INTEGRITY.
NOTE: Religions and labor unions are included in “Civil Society,” the second (in alphabetical order) among the eight tribes of intelligence: Academia, Civil Society, Commerce, Government, Law Enforcement, Media, Military, and Non-Governmental.